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To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the decision to suspend vaginal mesh surgery in England, as recommended by the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, and what impact this will have on such procedures in Scotland.

Current Status: Expected Answer date 10/08/2018
Immediate Halt to Mesh Implants in England

That the Parliament welcomes the result of the independent medicine and medical devices safety review chaired by Baroness Cumberlege into the use of transvaginal mesh; understands that the report calls for the immediate suspension of mesh for stress urinary incontinence, the creation of a national database, a register of operations, all complications to be reported to the MHRA, the accreditation of specialist centres where mesh can be removed and a commitment to look at rectopexy as part of the ongoing review; believes this package of measures to be more extensive than what is in place in Scotland, where it understands women continue to be implanted despite what has been called a “Scottish suspension”; further believes that this is down to a loophole that allows surgeons to implant mesh under so called “informed consent”; calls for the Scottish Government to work with the UK Government to ensure that all women are protected; is concerned regarding a Scottish Government press release, which it understands claims that the "suspension" has led to a significant drop in mesh procedures carried out in Scotland, with procedures being reduced to just 5% of their previous rates in the last six months, and considers that this does not acknowledge that hundreds of Scottish woman have had transvaginal mesh procedures following the suspension, with all the health consequences that it believes this could bring.

Supported by: Alex Rowley, Monica Lennon, Jackson Carlaw, Kezia Dugdale, Mark McDonald, Miles Briggs, Elaine Smith, Rona Mackay, Mark Griffin, Colin Smyth, Alexander Stewart

To ask the Scottish Government whether it can provide an update on the enquiry by Professor Alison Britton into the review of mesh implants, and when it expects the findings to be published.

Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 20/06/2018

To ask the Scottish Government whether the report that it commissioned on the Scottish Independent Review of the Use, Safety and Efficacy of Transvaginal Mesh Implants in the Treatment of Stress Urinary Incontinence and Pelvic Organ Prolapse in Women will be published before the summer recess and, if not, by what date it will be.

Answered by Shona Robison (14/06/2018):

The Scottish Government looks forward to receiving Professor Britton's report. However, as it is being produced independently of the Scottish Government, the precise date of publication is a matter for Professor Britton and her team.

Current Status: Answered by Shona Robison on 14/06/2018
60 Minutes, The Mesh Scandal

As an amendment to motion S5M-12280 in the name of Neil Findlay (60 Minutes, The Mesh Scandal), leave out from "the Cabinet Secretary" to end and insert "all NHS boards should end the use of mesh entirely with immediate effect."

Supported by: Angus MacDonald, Ivan McKee, Joan McAlpine, Sandra White, Clare Haughey, Alex Neil, Jackson Carlaw

60 Minutes, The Mesh Scandal

That the Parliament understands that the respected American news programme, 60 Minutes, recently broadcast an episode dealing with the issue of transvaginal mesh implants; believes that the programme stated that the use of polypropylene transvaginal mesh is unsuitable for medical use, leading to chronic pain, difficulty with movement, infection and severe bleeding, among other conditions; understands that the manufacturer of one type of mesh, Boston Scientific, is now facing 48,000 lawsuits in the United States; further understands that serious allegations have been made yet again regarding the knowing use of counterfeit mesh, which appears to erode and disperses in the body after just a few months; believes that hundreds of women were implanted with mesh products in Scotland following the call for it to be suspended in 2014; notes that the issue of counterfeit mesh was raised in the Parliament in September 2016 and considers that the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, MHRA and Police Scotland showed little interest in the evidence presented, and reinforces the call for mesh to be cleared from the shelves across the NHS in Scotland.

Supported by: Pauline McNeill, Elaine Smith, Iain Gray, Liz Smith, Monica Lennon, Alexander Stewart, Margaret Mitchell, Annie Wells, Donald Cameron, Anas Sarwar, Jeremy Balfour, Mark Ruskell, Murdo Fraser, Alex Rowley, Daniel Johnson, Jackson Carlaw, Alison Harris, Kezia Dugdale, Liam McArthur, Finlay Carson, John Scott, Edward Mountain, John Finnie, Jackie Baillie, Alex Cole-Hamilton, Colin Smyth

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the impact on a person's life of mesh injuries as a result of treatment for stress urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse or hernia, and whether it will support the UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health by writing to the Department for Work and Pensions on this issue.

Answered by Shona Robison (08/06/2018):

The Scottish Government sympathises with anyone who has suffered complications after receiving a mesh implant. It is imperative that any such patient receives the follow-up care they need, and that is why the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland continue to develop pathways of care and have taken steps to improve the availability of information for those affected.

The Scottish Government is supportive of all those individuals wishing to claim DWP benefits, including as a result of complications following mesh surgery. I therefore welcome the Under Secretary of State's decision to write to the DWP, and I can confirm that I also plan to do so. Subject to eligibility checks, any individual, including those women who have suffered as a result of having mesh implants, may make a claim to any benefit at any time, including those benefits classed as ‘disability benefits’, including PIP. When determining any claim, all cases are considered on their individual merits and any assessment should be based upon a functional, rather than a medical, assessment. In reaching a decision on entitlement, assessors and decision makers must consider how an individual’s condition affects them on a daily basis, rather than solely on the condition itself and, in the case of women who have had transvaginal implants, the severity of their injuries.

Current Status: Answered by Shona Robison on 08/06/2018

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency not issuing a medical device alert or publishing information for patients reflecting concerns regarding mesh implants, whether it will write to all women who have an implant to provide the most up-to-date information, including a list of possible complication symptoms and who to contact if these occur.

Answered by Shona Robison (08/06/2018):

Given the concerns associated with the use of transvaginal mesh, the Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that information about symptoms and different options for care is available, both to patients and to healthcare professionals. However, the Scottish Government believes that writing to all women who have received a transvaginal mesh implant would lead to unnecessary anxiety amongst those who have not experienced symptoms associated with complications.

Taking account of advice received from a number of professionals, the Scottish Government believes the most effective way to help any women with concerns is to ensure that clear, easily accessible information is available in the public domain, and to ensure that those women who seek help receive consistent care, regardless of where they live. Health Boards therefore continue to work together, both to improve and to standardise pathways of care, taking into account evidence provided by the Transvaginal Mesh Implants Oversight Group. Furthermore, the Scottish Government – in conjunction with other stakeholders – has taken steps to further improve access to information, both for those affected, and for the healthcare professionals who care for them. This includes the provision of information on the NHS Inform website, which features a patient information leaflet, the continuation of the mesh helpline, and the promotion of a learning leaflet directed at GPs, the first point of contact for the majority of women experiencing complications.


Current Status: Answered by Shona Robison on 08/06/2018
NHS England Mesh Audit

That the Parliament welcomes the announcement from NHS England of a review of all mesh operations in England from 2005; thanks the All Party Group in Westminster for its work in pushing for a full analysis of the mesh complication rate; considers that the Scottish Government has systematically failed mesh victims through its inaction in the face of mounting evidence of significant complication rates; thanks Alex Neil MSP for his willingness as Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport to stand up for mesh victims, including Eastwood resident, Elaine Holmes; believes that the Scottish Government must review its advice on the use of mesh, in light of the NHS England audit, and pays tribute to the Scottish Mesh Survivors, including Elaine Holmes and Olive McIroy, for becoming the public face of this campaign and their support for men and women suffering from mesh complications.

Supported by: Tom Mason, Jeremy Balfour, Alexander Stewart, Peter Chapman, Miles Briggs, Rachael Hamilton, Margaret Mitchell, Alison Harris, Bill Bowman, Liz Smith, Donald Cameron, Liam Kerr, Jamie Greene, Maurice Corry, Dean Lockhart, Alexander Burnett, Brian Whittle, Neil Findlay, John Scott

Current Status: Fallen on 09/05/2018

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide details of all involvement by former or current special advisers in providing advice to (a) ministers and (b) officials on the use of transvaginal mesh implants.

Answered by Aileen Campbell (09/01/2018):

In order to provide effective assistance to Ministers, special advisers work closely with the Ministerial team and with civil servants and may give assistance and advice on any aspect of Scottish Government business. Medical advice in relation to mesh is provided to both Ministers and officials by appropriately qualified and experienced clinical personnel.

Current Status: Answered by Aileen Campbell on 09/01/2018
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