I am grateful to Mr Briggs for the support of Conservative members for the work that is being undertaken. I am also grateful to Mr Carlaw, who has been prominent in pursuing the mesh survivors’ case.
On training budgets, we are in discussion with Dr Veronikis. Part of what is being done is that, sensibly, the right group of our clinicians will shortly go to the United States to speak to him, to see what he uses by way of equipment and so on, and to discuss with him how they will work together and what their training needs are. I hope that then, with due regulatory process completed—and the GMC’s support is helpful in that regard—Dr Veronikis will arrange to come to Scotland. There are limits to the length of time for which an external expert can practise in our country, but all that will be resolved and we will agree the arrangements with him.
I will understand better what is needed by way of training for our clinicians and Dr Veronikis’s time—and therefore what additional funding might be made available—when we visit him in the States and when he comes here. At this point, for all those reasons, I cannot give Mr Briggs the figure that he asked for. However, I can give him my absolute commitment to ensure that what is needed is provided and that our clinicians, where appropriate, learn from and exchange good practice with Dr Veronikis.