Endometriosis

– in the Scottish Parliament on 25th April 2019.

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Photo of Angela Constance Angela Constance Scottish National Party

4. To ask the Scottish Government how it supports research into and the treatment of endometriosis. (S5O-03147)

Photo of Clare Haughey Clare Haughey Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government’s chief scientist office is providing £162,000 for a preliminary study on laparoscopic treatment of endometriosis, which will pave the way for a larger study into the safety and effectiveness of the treatment.

The CSO also contributes financially to United Kingdom-wide research programmes that are run by the National Institute for Health Research, which enables researchers in Scotland to apply to those programmes. A £1.7 million NIHR-funded study, which is being led from Scotland, is looking at a hormone treatment to prevent recurrence of endometriosis.

Three specialist endometriosis treatment centres have been established in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow, with the Glasgow treatment centre opening this month.

Photo of Angela Constance Angela Constance Scottish National Party

I am grateful to the minister for that answer. Will she commit to working with endo warriors West Lothian in my constituency, and with others, to develop a Scottish national action plan and a database for endometriosis care? That would provide a platform for improving awareness, understanding and—crucially—treatment of, and research into, endometriosis. That is important, given that one in 10 women suffers from this debilitating condition, including those who have associated chronic pelvic pain.

Photo of Clare Haughey Clare Haughey Scottish National Party

The introduction of three specialist endometriosis centres across Scotland came about as a result of a review that was set up by the chief medical officer. The three centres will go some way towards raising awareness among the public and, importantly, healthcare professionals. The centres will ensure that woman who are living with endometriosis have access to speedy diagnostics and the best treatment available.

Further, we are already considering the needs of women and girls with pelvic pain as part of the work of the Scottish access collaborative gynaecology specialty group. The group is identifying a number of improvement opportunities, including improved access to information for patients to self-manage, easier access to nationally recommended guidelines and pathways for general practitioners, and support for primary care cluster groups to develop expertise in women’s health.

On working with endo warriors, we have been in dialogue with the group about developing educational resources for schools about menstrual health. Education Scotland has offered to review the resources and consider them for inclusion in the national improvement hub, through which all schools can access and distribute resources to pupils. The founders of endo warriors West Lothian—Candice McKenzie and Claire Beattie—are to be congratulated on the work that they are doing in the area.

Photo of Monica Lennon Monica Lennon Labour

Endometriosis can have a detrimental impact on mental health, which the minister touched on. Can she advise what psychological support services are available to women with endometriosis and how much funding is available for that support?

Photo of Clare Haughey Clare Haughey Scottish National Party

Various toolkits are being developed following the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines that were launched in the UK, as well as other educational resources, including e-learning.

I am happy to come back to the member with information on specific psychological support.