A RYEDALE campaigner who is fighting to end controversial surgical mesh procedures has said she is “angry and upset” at new guidelines on the surgery - but will continue to campaign until authorities “listen and act”.

Jackie Cheetham, of Allerston, near Pickering, was responding to new guidelines and patient leaflets released by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on April 2.

The guidelines cover “assessing and managing urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse in women”, but also covers complications associated with mesh surgery for these conditions.

This controversial surgery involves plastic polypropylene implants, sometimes called “sling implants”, given to women to support organs in the pelvis.

The NICE guidelines, which can be read at nice.org.uk, are aimed at healthcare professionals, but also the patients themselves. The guidelines state: “There is public concern about the use of mesh procedures. There is some evidence of benefit, but limited evidence on long-term effectiveness and adverse effects.”

Upon publication, they were criticised by campaigners in the Sling the Mesh movement but also MP Owen Smith, who said that though he was pleased the guidance had been issued, “the guidelines appear to disregard mesh-injured women’s experiences by stating that there is no long-term evidence of adverse effects.”

Mrs Cheetham, who has herself been through an agonising ordeal with the procedure, said that the guidelines miss out on key data and should have waited until a high-profile review, led by Baroness Cumberlege, reports later this year.

She said: “Every day on our support group, we see women suffering severe pain, some losing their bowels and bladders, all thanks to mesh surgery.

“Surgeons who take their guidance from NICE, need to be more honest with women in the first instance and they need to stop covering up the true risks.

“We will continue to campaign until they listen and act.”