Motions, Questions and Answers Search


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The Need for a New Review of Transvaginal Mesh Implants

That the Parliament notes the findings in the report, Investigative review into the process of establishing, managing and supporting Independent Reviews in Scotland; understands that the review, which was chaired by Professor Alison Britton, identifies “systematic failures” of the original Independent Review of Transvaginal Mesh Implants, which it concludes was “ill-conceived, thoughtlessly structured and poorly executed”; believes that, given what it sees as this extensive criticism of the original review, its findings now stand as wholly discredited, making it a compromised piece of work with recommendations that should no longer be used to inform the policies of the Scottish Government and NHS on the use of mesh, and concludes that the only way forward is for the original report to be withdrawn and for a new truly independent report to be commissioned.

Supported by: Monica Lennon, Tavish Scott, Jackie Baillie, Iain Gray, Elaine Smith, Alex Rowley, Colin Smyth

To ask the Scottish Government what recent contact it has had with women affected by transvaginal mesh implants.

Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 01/11/2018

To ask the Scottish Government when it will make a statement on Professor Alison Britton’s consideration of the independent review of transvaginal mesh implants.

Answered by Graeme Dey (26/10/2018):

The Scottish Government will publish An Investigative Review into the Process of Establishing, Managing and Supporting Independent Reviews in Scotland today. It has no plans to make a statement on the report.


Current Status: Answered by Graeme Dey on 26/10/2018

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will offer an apology to women who have been negatively impacted by transvaginal mesh implants, similar to that made by the Australian Government.

Answered by Jeane Freeman (25/10/2018):

I was alerted to the very serious issues with mesh procedures when I first became Cabinet Secretary for Health. I would like to add my own sincere apology to the apologies already given by the First Minister, the Chief Medical Officer and the previous Health Secretary. Women have suffered pain and life changing complications from some of these procedures and this must not happen in the future.

Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 25/10/2018

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to concerns that translabial ultrasounds are not available within the NHS in Scotland and whether it has any plans to introduce such services.

Answered by Jeane Freeman (15/10/2018):

Translabial scanning is not offered routinely by the NHS, either in Scotland or in England. This is because clinicians in both jurisdictions advise that there is no clinical evidence to support routine use.

This position is supported by draft NICE guidance entitled “Urinary incontinence (update) and pelvic organ prolapse in women: management,” which recommends that further research into translabial scanning be undertaken because, at present, there is no data to support claims that it is a necessary tool in the diagnosis and management of mesh complications.

The draft NICE guidance is presently open to public consultation and can be viewed here: .

Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 15/10/2018

To ask the Scottish Government how many transvaginal mesh implant kits have been purchased by each NHS board in each year since 2007.

Answered by Jeane Freeman (02/10/2018):

The information requested is not held centrally. Mesh used in a transvaginal setting is procured directly by Health Boards and ‘transvaginal mesh kits’ have never been procured through national contracts. The amount of mesh procured cannot be accurately established, given that there are a range of suppliers and varying units and systems within Health Boards to procure small volume medical devices, such as mesh, as required.

Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 02/10/2018
The Need for TL Scanning in Scotland for Mesh-injured Patients

That the Parliament urges the Scottish Government to implement the translabial (TL) ultrasound scan for mesh-injured patients; understands that this is the only procedure that shows mesh implants clearly; notes however that it is unavailable in Scotland, unlike in England and Northern Ireland; believes that it would be immensely beneficial for mesh-injured patients before removal surgery, as surgeons can use it to identify the location of mesh in advance; understands that clinicians and sonographers in Scotland already possess the skills to carry out TL scans and that their implementation would therefore not require significant training; believes that many women who are experiencing pain as a result of mesh implants are travelling, at a considerable financial expense, to England to access the scan; strongly urges ministers to ensure that TL ultrasound scanning is readily available so that mesh removal surgery is as effective as possible in Scotland, and believes that doing so could ultimately save lives.

Supported by: Monica Lennon, Pauline McNeill, Elaine Smith, Rona Mackay, Alex Rowley

To ask the Scottish Government how many meetings the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport has had since she was appointed with women who have received mesh implants and/or organisations representing them.

Answered by Jeane Freeman (25/09/2018):

I have received correspondence both directly from women affected by issues related to transvaginal mesh, and from MPs and MSPs representing them, but to date have had no individual meetings.

Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 25/09/2018

To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to consider a restriction of the use of mesh implants for hernia repairs.

Answered by Jeane Freeman (19/09/2018):

There are currently no plans to restrict the use of mesh in hernia repair.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 19/09/2018

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to review the use of mesh implants for hernia repairs, similar to that of vaginal mesh implants.

Answered by Jeane Freeman (19/09/2018):

The use of mesh to treat hernia repair is accepted practice across the UK and there is presently no medical evidence to suggest it should not be used. The Scottish Government therefore has no plans to carry out a review into its use.

Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 19/09/2018
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