A guide to mesh claims and medical evidence


In a vaginal mesh claim, the claimant must provide evidence from a suitably experienced medical expert witness.

Hundreds of thousands of people have had a mesh implant in the UK. It is estimated that more than 100,000 women in the UK have had vaginal mesh surgery according to the government. However, there are concerns that little has been done to raise awareness of the risks of the surgery, and consequently many are suffering from mesh complications. It’s estimated that up to 170,000 people who have had hernia mesh implants in England in the past six years could face complications, according to BBC research.

Anyone who is suffering from surgical mesh complications can experience a number of symptoms, including:

• Enduring pain
• Bleeding
• Bladder infection
• Bladder perforation
• Haematoma
• Vaginal scarring
• Bowel and nerve trauma
• Incontinence
• Mesh erosion
• Difficulty to walk following mesh surgery.

Winning mesh claims for your clients

If a client is suffering from any of the above symptoms following vaginal mesh surgery, they may be able to make a mesh claim for medical negligence. If this happens, the solicitor will need to gather enough medical evidence to be able to instigate a litigation and hold an organisation or professional accountable for the client’s suffering.

Why do you need medical evidence for a mesh claim?

In a vaginal mesh claim, the claimant must provide evidence from a suitably experienced medical expert witness. It can take a lot of work to prove a claim against an organisation, such as the NHS or a private healthcare provider, and to show that the claimant’s suffering was, or is, caused by mesh surgery complications, which is why providing the courts with medical evidence is vital to supporting a mesh claim.

The medical evidence is presented in the form of a medico-legal report by a medical expert witness in court. The medical expert is an independent party assisting the court, rather than the party who has paid them to write the report. The expert’s opinion must be objective and independent.

What are the benefits of a medico-legal report?

A medico-legal expert provides their opinion on whether the defendant has breached their duty of care to the injured party and whether that breach caused the injury complained of. If so, the expert witness will also comment on the victim’s current medical condition and the prognosis for recovery.

During the medico-legal report process, the victim has the opportunity to honestly explain the impact the mesh surgery has had on them physically and emotionally. The expert witness also examines them and considers their medical notes and records. This information is used as evidence by the expert witness to enable them to offer their opinion regarding the claim for medical negligence and decide whether they are able to support the client’s mesh claim.

How can MAPS help?

At MAPS, we have an extensive panel of qualified and experienced medico-legal expert witnesses who can opine on your clients’ mesh claims. Our medical experts use their experience and knowledge to provide an expert assessment of these complex cases so as to provide you with a comprehensive medico-legal report capable of being presented in court. We can select the most appropriate medical expert witness to prepare the report based on the client’s location and the expert’s specialism and experience.

If you are a law firm seeking a medico-legal report, contact us to find out how we can support you and your client’s mesh claim.