I intervened last month in a debate on mesh implants, after being contacted by a number of constituents who had been affected by their use.

For those that have missed the news, these mesh implants are used by the NHS in a variety of surgeries, often post-childbirth. From 2007 to 2016, 126,000 women were treated with mesh implants.

The are many types of mesh device, but the one causing the most problems is made of a rigid plastic, and is used to support internal organs following childbirth.

However, stories have been coming out from those who have had the mesh implanted of severe pain and sometimes life-changing complications.

Over 100,000 women are now involved in a class action lawsuit against the manufacturers of the mesh, and European regulation has also been questioned, as campaigners found that 61 mesh devices went onto the market based on their equivalence to older products, despite being made of different materials.

The NHS continues to use mesh implants despite worrying stories, including those from my own constituents. NHS England figures put surgery failure rates at 3-5 per cent, but no comprehensive data is yet available. In July last year a parliamentary lobby was held and there was a debate in September. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Surgical Mesh Devices, led by Owen Smith MP, has been campaigning hard to change this, and in January the Department of Health and Social Care agreed to an audit of all cases where the mesh was used dating back to 2005.

The audit follows the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) withdrawing their recommendation for the use of mesh devices in certain operations. NICE guidelines are supposed to be strictly followed by NHS England, and the updated guidelines, published last December, make it clear that certain operations involving the use of mesh have an unreasonably high readmission rate. Those who do suffer complications talk of ‘agonising pain’ and some women have been forced to use a wheelchair rather than walk.

While I am pleased the Department of Health will be conducting an audit, they have not included a key use of the mesh, in rectopexy surgery. My constituents who have suffered complications from this type of surgery have found themselves with severe internal pain and been told they may not be able to have children.

The women who have been subjected to this surgery must be able to claim compensation for their suffering and be given proper medical treatment to fix these botched surgeries. I will continue to lobby the Department of Health to ensure that this happens as these stories have no place in a modern medical system.