Support for mesh victims
Case note review to take place in spring.
Women who have concerns about their mesh removal procedure are to be offered a sit-down review of their patient notes with independent clinicians.
Following a meeting in November 2019 with women affected by complications after mesh surgery, the First Minister has given careful consideration to all of the women’s experiences and the questions they asked, and has now written to all who attended.
The First Minister was particularly concerned to hear that some women had only had partial mesh removal surgery, having understood they would have total removal. She has confirmed that these women will be offered the review, which will give them the opportunity to set out their concerns about treatment and then examine this with clinicians alongside their notes.
The case note review will be co-designed by Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland and will take place in spring. Each woman will receive a report based on the outcome of the review of their case records and discussion with a clinician.
The Scottish Government has also included, within the draft 2020/21 budget, a £1 million Mesh Injured Women’s Fund to support women affected by mesh complications, and a national Complex Care Review Service will be operational from April 2020. The Complex Care Review Service will allow women who are experiencing complications to be referred to specialist care.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:
“The First Minister and I are absolutely determined to do everything possible to ensure that all women affected by transvaginal mesh problems get the treatment and the care that they need.
“When we met with women affected last year they were able to share with us their painful and continuing experience. We are very grateful to them for that.
“The case note review will hopefully give these women the answers they require about their situation and follows on from our commitment to a Complex Care Review Service and a £1 million Mesh Injured Women’s Fund to support those affected.
“The Scottish Government, including the Chief Medical Officer, is also taking all the necessary action to enable Dr Veronikis to visit Scotland in the near future.”
The case note review will initially be offered to those who attended the First Minister’s meetings in November 2019. However, subject to the outcome of appropriate evaluation of the review, consideration will be given to offering a similar review more widely, to others with similar concerns.
The Health and Social Care Alliance will co-design the case note review with relevant stakeholders, including the women with experience of mesh.
In September 2018 the Health Secretary ordered a halt to use of transvaginal mesh in Scotland and has made repeatedly clear that there is no prospect of transvaginal mesh being reintroduced.
Dr Dionysios K. Veronikis is an obstetrician-gynaecologist based in Missouri, USA. The Scottish Government has asked Dr Veronikis to visit Scotland and plans for this are on-going.
The £1 million Mesh Injured Women’s Fund was announced as part of the draft 2020/21 Scottish Budget.