Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent comparative assessment he has made of the effectiveness of pain medication and antidepressants for victims of the vaginal mesh scandal to help them cope with the after-effects of that mesh insertion; if he will make representations to NICE against proposals that prescription of pain medication should be withdrawn for those victims in cases where there is an absence of highly specific diagnoses of pain being the result of that mesh insertion; and for what reason such mesh insertions are still being permitted to take place provided that the insertion is carried out via the stomach. 
[Due for Answer on 7 September. Answered on 10 September.]
HOLDING ANSWER: The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Ms Nadine Dorries): Departmental officials have been working with NHS England and NHS Improvement to establish means of specialist support for those women requiring it. While NHS England and NHS Improvement complete the process of commissioning mesh removal centres, there are hospitals in England where this type of treatment is available. Both the British Association of Urological Surgeons and the British Society of Urogynaecology have information on their respective websites about the hospitals and surgeons that will provide the specialist support required.
On managing chronic pain, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) advises that the draft guideline is still out for consultation in line with their standard processes. This will close on Monday 14 September after which their guideline committee will meet to consider comments received.
On pain specifically experienced as a result of mesh insertion, NICE advises that its specific guideline is ‘Urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse in in women: management’, which includes advice on managing complications.
On the use of mesh to treat hernias (abdominal wall reinforcement), the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has not had any evidence which would lead it to change its position on use of surgical mesh for hernia repairs.