Chloe Thurston, from Corsham, was just 15-years-old when she underwent rectopexy surgery for a suspected internal bowel prolapse, which has left her in debilitating pain and eventually stopped her bowel functioning normally.

Ever since, she has been unable to go to the toilet naturally and with lower back pain. She has to perform a painful two-hour procedure to irrigate her bowel every night.

Now, aged 22, Ms Thurston is urging the government to provide a full update on how it is responding to the First Do No Harm report, which was published in July last year.

Today (May 1) marks International Mesh Awareness Day.

The Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review team, led by Baroness Julia Cumberlege, published the report, which examined how the healthcare system responded to three medical interventions, including surgical mesh.

It made nine recommendations to improve patient safety after it found women who were “not being listened to or believed led to emergencies, misdiagnosis and years of unnecessary pain.”

Ms Thurston is one of five women calling for the update. She joins Bonita Barrett (46) in York, Claire Griffiths (38) in Herefordshire, Jacqui Shaw (54) in Stoke-on-Trent and Paula Goss (51) in Bristol, whose lives have also been turned upside down by mesh.

Ms Thurston said: “If, from sharing my story, just one more person becomes aware about the dangers of mesh and it gives them answers about their own pain, I would consider that a success.

"I know there has been a lot going on with the pandemic but even before that, it felt as if we had been forgotten about, especially those of us suffering from rectal mesh. “I hope International Mesh Awareness Day not only reminds the government that changes need to be made to protect people, but also provides others the much-needed answers they’ll be desperate for and knowledge they’re not alone.”

In January, the Minister of State for Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Patient Safety, Nadine Dorries, provided a response to each of the recommendations made in the report – but many areas were still under consideration leaving many unanswered questions.

Among the nine recommendations made in the First Do No Harm Report was to appoint an independent patient safety commissioner, overhaul the regulator of medicines and medical devices (the MHRA), establish regional specialist centres and set up a task force to implement all of the report’s recommendations and strengthen the patients’ voice.

The mesh-injured women are just five of more than 400 people being represented by social justice law firm, Thompsons Solicitors, which is pursuing mesh claims on their behalf. It is thought tens of thousands of people have been affected by mesh, maybe more, with many not knowing the cause of their pain.

Linda Millband, head of clinical negligence at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “So far, The government’s response is nothing more than hollow words. Only three out of nine of the recommendations have had an update of any real substance. "

“The fact that the government is still “considering” the eighth recommendation, that doctors’ financial and non-pecuniary interests should be declared and publicly available, is an absolute farce, especially in light of everything we’ve seen with convicted breast surgeon, Ian Paterson.

“These recommendations were made for a reason and every day they are not implemented, is another day patients are at risk. It’s high time the government stops using the pandemic as an excuse for its inefficiency and callous disinterest in patient safety and fully implements recommendations that are gathering dust.”