Prescription Wig Provision

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 29 February 2024.

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Photo of Marie McNair Marie McNair Scottish National Party

1. To ask the Scottish Government what work has been done to improve accessibility to prescription wig provision for those affected by hair loss. (S6O-03142)

Photo of Jenni Minto Jenni Minto Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government knows that the provision of wigs is important to many people who have been diagnosed with various forms of hair loss. The prescription of wig provision is dependent on clinical assessment and individual need, with decisions made by clinicians in consultation with patients. The Scottish Government issued advisory national guidance on wig prescriptions to all national health service health boards in 2011 and again in 2014 to allow them to deliver services that meet the needs of their local population.

Photo of Marie McNair Marie McNair Scottish National Party

A constituent of mine currently receives real-hair wigs but, given the advancements in acrylic wigs, she would like to try one of those instead. She has advised me that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has said that, if she makes that decision, she would not be able to move back to a real-hair wig prescription should she wish to do so. That seems a bit harsh. Can the minister confirm whether there are any plans to review that approach to allow more flexibility in moving between the two wig prescriptions?

Photo of Jenni Minto Jenni Minto Scottish National Party

I thank Marie McNair for raising this important issue in the chamber. I have had friends who have chosen to wear a wig and I have another who volunteers at the Beatson, and I have heard directly from them about the benefit of being able to access wigs on prescription, if wished. The current approach, which allows the change of wigs from natural to synthetic, is flexible. It is for NHS boards to implement the guidelines, and I hope that they take a person-centred approach to that.