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To ask the First Minister what action the Scottish Government has taken following the recent meeting between the health secretary and mesh survivors.


Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 14/03/2019
Elaine Holmes and Olive McIlroy Achieve Lifetime Inspiration Award

That the Parliament congratulates Elaine Holmes and Olive McIlroy, who founded the Scottish Mesh Survivors campaign group, on winning the top prize, the Amazing Lifetime Inspiration Award, at the No.1 Amazing Women Awards held at the Old Fruit Market in Glasgow on 7 March 2019; acknowledges that this is the second annual No.1 Amazing Women Awards and that the purpose of the event is to celebrate the achievements of incredible women in Scotland; commends Elaine, who is resident in Eastwood, and Olive, for their heroic efforts in leading the Scottish Mesh Survivors campaign and fighting to ensure justice for all of the women in Scotland who have suffered the consequences of damaging mesh procedures; agrees that they are an outstanding choice for the Amazing Lifetime Inspiration Award, and congratulates them on yet another well-deserved achievement.

Supported by: Alexander Stewart, Miles Briggs, Peter Chapman, David Torrance, Michelle Ballantyne, Bill Bowman, Alison Harris, Maurice Corry, Rona Mackay, Liz Smith, Liam Kerr, Annie Wells, Alex Neil, Margaret Mitchell, Jeremy Balfour, Jamie Greene, Tom Mason, Maurice Golden, John Scott, Alexander Burnett, Neil Findlay


To ask the Scottish Government what action will be taken following the debate on 5 March 2019 concerning transvaginal mesh removal.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (08/03/2019):

Having listened carefully to the views of women who have been affected by complications, as well as those of fellow MSPs, I can confirm officials will undertake further work with Accountable Officers, who are responsible for ensuring high vigilance measures are followed in stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse surgery. Officials will expedite a meeting of the Accountable Officers and other relevant specialists to look again at the course of care for patients suffering complications. In particular and where reasonable, I want them to ensure women have some choice regarding the place of treatment and the clinicians involved. I also ask that they:

  • sharing experience, techniques and learning with colleagues in Europe and USA. For this to be successful it is important that surgeons and clinical teams engage with counterparts of proven merit and who are regarded by the professionals as leaders and innovators in their field;
  • examine the complex education and training requirements we must have to ensure a sustainable and resilient high quality service;
  • review the course and organisation of care for patients suffering complications in Scotland with a broader UK perspective; and
  • identify the resource requirements to provide the service our patients need.

Senior medical managers in Health Boards in Scotland, academic and other advisers, and advocates for affected women will be asked to contribute to this work. The first meeting will be held as soon as is practicable and I will write to campaigners within a month to set out the probable timescales.

Further, a meeting with a representative group of campaigners will be arranged in order to seek their views on service development.


Current Status: Initiated by the Scottish Government. Answered by Jeane Freeman on 08/03/2019
Scottish Government Declines Help of Mesh Expert

That the Parliament notes with much disappointment reports that the Scottish Government has declined an invitation from the St Louis-based obstetrician-gynaecologist, Dr Dionysios Veronikis, to travel to Scotland to help safely remove transvaginal and other mesh implants from people in Lothian and across the country who are experiencing life-changing pain and disability and to train other surgeons how to do this safely; understands that Dr Veronikis has developed specialist skills and instruments that allow entire mesh implants to be removed with positive results; believes that full mesh removal is currently unavailable in Scotland, and notes the calls for the Scottish Government to reconsider this invitation and to do all that it can to help facilitate the offer that Dr Veronikis has made.

Supported by: Elaine Smith, Jackie Baillie, Monica Lennon, David Stewart, Tavish Scott, Rhoda Grant, Colin Smyth, Jenny Marra, Kezia Dugdale, Pauline McNeill, Claudia Beamish, Daniel Johnson, Claire Baker, Johann Lamont, Anas Sarwar, Jackson Carlaw, Lewis Macdonald, Alex Rowley, Alex Cole-Hamilton, Annie Wells, Miles Briggs, Alison Johnstone


Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 05/03/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports that the St Louis-based obstetrician-gynaecologist, Dr Dionysios Veronikis, has offered to come to Scotland to remove surgical mesh from patients and train other surgeons on how to do this.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (24/01/2019):

In Scotland, removal of mesh implants is presently undertaken by the ‘Mesh Complication Service’ in two specialised centres in NHS Lothian and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

https://www.baus.org.uk/patients/glasgow.aspx

The two Scottish centres work collaboratively and offer a full complement of surgical treatment. The surgeons are committed to both high quality clinical care and governance. The vital importance of shared decision making is recognised, thus ensuring that patients are able to give fully informed consent.

Any need for further professional development will be identified – as necessary – by Health Boards, other UK specialised centres and professional bodies. Health Boards may consider offers of assistance but, clearly, all those suggested must be of appropriate professional standing and must possess relevant clearance by the General Medical Council to practice in the UK.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 24/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government, what its response is to the offer that was made by Dr Dionysios Veronikis, who is a St Louis-based specialist in carrying out mesh removal procedure, which was published in The Sunday Post on 13 January 2019, to treat mesh-injured women in Scotland and assist with training physicians in performing full mesh removal surgery; whether it has been in contact with Dr Veronikis regarding this, and what estimate it has made of how much this would cost.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (24/01/2019):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-21040 on 24 January 2019. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament’s website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 24/01/2019

To ask the Scottish Government what work it has undertaken, since its announcement on 12 September 2018 that mesh surgery would be halted, to ensure that all NHS boards comply with this instruction and not use mesh as happened previously following the suspension announced in 2014 when some boards continued to carry out mesh procedures.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (21/12/2018):

Following the 12 September announcement of the halt, the Chief Medical Officer wrote to all Health Board Chief Executives and Medical Directors in order to instruct them that no further procedures were to be carried out. An exception was permitted in the case of those women who were already on the waiting list. In those circumstances surgery was allowed to go ahead, providing clinicians firstly explained the situation to the patient and sought fresh consent, and Scottish Government officials required Health Boards to confirm that those discussions had taken place.

Health Boards confirm they have complied with the instruction to halt procedures, and surgery has gone ahead only in the exceptional circumstances noted above.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 21/12/2018

To ask the Scottish Government what further work it has undertaken with the Department of Health and Social Care, and the other devolved administrations, regarding the establishment of a mesh database.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (12/12/2018):

Officials have continued to meet with colleagues in the Department of Health and Social Care as well as the other devolved administrations, the British Society of Urogynaecology, and the British Association of Urologiccal Surgeons in order to progress development of a registry.

An outline of an interim registry has been agreed upon and is expected to become operational in the spring of next year, and officials will be considering information governance aspects in order to ensure that NHSScotland can fully participate. A bespoke registry will continue to be developed after implemetation of the interim solution, with delivery expected in around two years.

Both the interim and bespoke registries will record all stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse procedures, not just those that involve mesh repair. Further, they will record patient reported outcomes in addition to clinician reports.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 12/12/2018

To ask the Scottish Government what progress has been made with the development and implementation of the high vigilance restricted use protocol for mesh procedures.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (12/12/2018):

Health Boards have nominated 'Accountable Officers' who, in each Health Board that carries out mesh procedures in the future, will be responsible for ensuring that the necessary high vigilance measures have been followed in every case.

In February Accountable Officers will meet with Scottish Government and NHS ISD officials, as well as members of Healthcare Improvement Scotland's Mesh Oversight Group, in order to progress the development of the protocol. In doing so, Accountable Officers will take account of NICE guidelines, Royal College of Surgeons training guidelines, the Mesh Oversight Group's newly developed Self-Assessment Tool, and the views of regional clinical groups, the latter having been asked to give careful consideration to the issue following the announcement of the halt in September 2018.


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 12/12/2018

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on withdrawing the use of hernia mesh in the NHS, and what action it can take in this regard in Scotland.


Answered by Jeane Freeman (21/12/2018):

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-20179 on 21 December 2018. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .


Current Status: Answered by Jeane Freeman on 21/12/2018
 
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