Transvaginal Mesh Care

– in the Scottish Parliament on 23rd June 2022.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Sue Webber Sue Webber Conservative

My constituent Samantha received a letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care on 20 June, stating his reassurance that

“Both the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland remain committed to ensuring women who have experienced complications as a result of transvaginal mesh have access to the best possible care.”

That letter left Samantha upset and lost for words. She told me:

“I was heartbroken when I tried to access this care, only for my hospital gynaecology department to tell me the NHS would not honour most of the measures. They were unwilling to refer me to the Glasgow unit, and scared me half to death by saying people like me will never be 100 per cent mesh-free. It’s as if they are trying to put us off mesh removal surgery.”

The First Minister has stated:

“we will do everything possible to get these women the treatment and the care that they need.”

Where is the evidence that that is happening?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

A wealth of measures have been taken to improve the experience of women who have suffered because of mesh, including, for example, a complex pelvic mesh removal service. We continue to take forward changes to improve that experience to ensure that women have access to the treatment that they need.

I met with groups of women with the then chief medical officer and the then health secretary, and I continue to be committed to taking forward all those changes.

I am obviously not aware of Samantha’s particular circumstances, nor have I seen the letter that she received from the health secretary. However, I am happy to look at that correspondence. If we can provide further information that would be of assistance to Samantha, I am happy to ensure that that is done.