Shona Robison to respond to mesh impants report

Victims of tape and mesh implants at the Scottish Parliament in 2014. Picture: Jane Barlow
Victims of tape and mesh implants at the Scottish Parliament in 2014. Picture: Jane Barlow
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Health Secretary Shona Robison is set to respond to a new report into the use of controversial mesh implant surgery.

The procedure can be used to treat women suffering from prolapse and bladder problems but an independent review was ordered after women who had been left suffering from painful complications took their case to Holyrood.

Both Ms Robison and Dr Lesley Wilkie, chair of the independent review of transvaginal mesh implants, will give evidence to MSPs on the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee today.

It comes after an interim report was published last week called for better training to be put in place to ensure medical staff are more aware of the complications women can suffer after mesh implant surgery.

The report expressed ‘’serious concerns that some women who had adverse events found they were not believed’’, adding this added to their distress and meant they had to wait longer for help.

About 11,000 women in Scotland have had the implant procedure but MSPs have been told that as many as one in five implants can go wrong, with the interim report noting mesh implants ‘’carry a risk of complications which in some cases are life-changing and cannot be corrected’’.

The Scottish Government has already suspended the use of mesh implants, with Ms Robison making clear last week that this remains in place.

Elaine Holmes and Olive McIlroy, of Scottish Mesh Survivors, the group which took the issue to Holyrood, want a public inquiry to be held or independent research to be carried out into the safety of mesh devices.

Dr Wilkie said last week the interim report “points the way forward for improving services for women in the treatment of these conditions”.