Gold Coast to host service dedicated to women affected by pelvic mesh
Published Wednesday, 19 December, 2018 at 12:44 PM
Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Steven Miles
The Palaszczuk Government will open Australia’s first specialised service for women with pelvic mesh complications on the Gold Coast in the first half of 2019.
Health Minister Steven Miles said the Queensland Pelvic Mesh Service would comprise a team of medical, nursing and allied health specialists, offering expertise in surgery, continence care, chronic pain management and counselling.
“This is the first service to be co-designed with clinicians, Health Consumers Queensland and consumer representatives to ensure it meets the needs of affected women.
“There are many women who are experiencing significant health problems caused by pelvic mesh devices, and their stories have been heart-wrenching,” Mr Miles said.
“The Queensland Pelvic Mesh Service will include an initial comprehensive interdisciplinary assessment, resulting in a plan developed for each woman that meets her needs and recovery goals.
“This care may include medical and nursing treatment and procedures, continence care, chronic pain management, counselling, psychology, social work support and physiotherapy.”
Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said the specialist team would be based on the Gold Coast but that women from across the state would have access.
“This highly specialised interdisciplinary service will be delivered here on the Gold Coast, meaning all the expertise in caring for and treating women with pelvic mesh complications is available at the one site.”
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to providing specialised care and treatment for women, whether they live in rural, remote, regional or metropolitan Queensland. Which is why the Queensland Health Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme will subsidise travel and accommodation costs for eligible women across the state.”
“Due to the complexity of mesh complications, each woman will have very different needs.”
“Based on the interdisciplinary assessment and in consultation each woman, care and treatment will be offered relevant to their personal recovery needs,” Ms Scanlon said.
Queensland Health will provide $3.14 million annually to the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service to operate the new service.
In 2018, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) restricted the sale of transvaginal mesh products designed solely for the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse and single incision mini-slings used to treat stress urinary incontinence.
The action was taken after a TGA review determined the risks of using transvaginal mesh for pelvic organ prolapse outweighed the benefits to women.
Queensland Health’s Clinical Excellence Division Deputy Director-General, Dr John Wakefield, said the new state-wide service will partner with women to develop individualised care and recovery plans.
“The co-design with consumer representatives and clinicians has been central to the development of the Queensland Pelvic Mesh Service,” Dr Wakefield said.
Melissa Fox, Chief Executive of Health Consumers Queensland said, “Mesh affected women have been strong advocates for the care that they need. We are pleased that Queensland Health has listened and co-designed a service that we hope will be responsive to their needs.”
Ms Fox said, “Health Consumers Queensland look forward to continuing to support the ongoing partnership between Queensland Health and consumers.”
Dr Wakefield said, “Acknowledging the impacts of mesh complications in daily life is essential, as is responding to the needs of women suffering from pain.”
“We offer our sincerest sympathies to these women and their families.”
“We understand each of these women has different complications and health needs, so our services will be holistic and personalised to ensure each patient receives the precise care they require.”
The Queensland Pelvic Mesh Service is anticipated to open the first half of 2019.
Women seeking to access the service will require a referral from their general practitioner.
Further details will be released in the new year on the date the service will commence and when the referrals for the service will be accepted.
To register for information about the clinic, visit https://www.health.qld.gov.au/clinical-practice/guidelines-procedures/patient-safety/transvaginal-mesh/where-can-i-find-services-to-help.
Media contact: Katharine Wright – 0428 957 903