A mum-of-two and former Lynn News reporter is celebrating after winning a She Inspires award for her women’s health campaign.
Kath Sansom founded Sling The Mesh in 2015 and has won in the national agent of change category in a ceremony celebrating women who have made a difference through their leadership, achievements and contribution to society.
Kath, 54, of March said: “It has been wonderful to be recognised for all the hours of hard work and tears that goes into running the campaign.
“All done voluntarily in my spare time. Surgical mesh is one of the biggest health scandals of our generation.
“The campaign continues for improved regulations, better data, fully informed patient consent and early warning triggers of harm, so that no patient suffers in such a widescale tragedy like mesh, ever again.
“A huge thanks needs to go to all the people who have supported over the years from politicians, to doctors, the support group admin team and many others who have trawled research, dug into scientific evidence, attended meetings and added their voice to important advocacy work.”
Sling The Mesh was set up with just 20 women in 2015 and now has almost 10,000 members from around the world on its Facebook page – including men who are suffering from hernia mesh complications.
Surgical mesh is made from polypropylene plastic and is used to support weak tissue in operations to fix prolapse, incontinence, hernia and also in some breast reconstruction surgeries following mastectomy.
Steve Barclay, Health Secretary, took to Twitter to congratulate Kath for her years of hard work, which has resulted in a string of successes for patient safety.
This included the suspension of one type of mesh implant and a clause in the new health and social care act to uncover payments made to doctors from industry.
Another success is that NHS specialist pelvic floor physiotherapy is being improved across England from March 2024, for women following childbirth and throughout their lifetime.
The She Inspires Awards are founded and organised by Gulnaz Brennan and are into their eighth year.