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Experts to make recommendations on mesh implants

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has written to campaigners, MSPs and the Health and Sport Committee to set out details of the work they will carry out.

Vaginal mesh implants were banned across the UK last year (University of Sheffield/PA)
Vaginal mesh implants were banned across the UK last year (University of Sheffield/PA)

Recommendations on how to improve care for women who have experienced complications from mesh procedures will be made in early autumn.

An expert group was announced by Health Secretary Jeane Freeman last month following a meeting with women who have suffered as a result of vaginal mesh implants.

The devices were banned across the UK last year due to safety concerns, with hundreds of Scottish women suffering chronic pain from the implants.

Ms Freeman has written to campaigners, MSPs and the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee to set out details of the work to be carried out.

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Health Secretary Jeane Freeman MSP has said previously the ban will not be lifted until there is a ‘high vigilance, restricted-use’ protocol put in place (Andrew Cowan/PA)

The group, made up of senior clinical managers, medical directors and other key specialists, will hold its first meeting on Friday and is expected to submit its findings to health board chief executives in the early autumn.

To ensure the work takes into account the views of patients, a clinician will also be nominated to give their views.

In its remit, the group will examine the needs of patients and the course of care provided for those who suffer complications following vaginal mesh surgery.

It will also consider what additional steps could be taken to offer choice to women who want – and are clinically suitable for – removal of mesh.

Ms Freeman said: “Last September, I announced a complete halt to all transvaginal mesh procedures, which will only be lifted when a new Restricted Use Protocol has been developed and fully implemented.

“However, I am also determined that women who have had complications from procedures get the best possible care and support.

“I have now written to the women I met last month to set out some more details of the expert group that will take this work forward.

“It is important that the group takes the views of women into account and I expect them to report their findings to health board chief executives in autumn.”

PA

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