Launched by Holyrood’s Public Petitions Committee, the report looks into the final results of the Independent Review into the safety of mesh implants.
The Review was started in 2014 after mesh was initially suspended following safety concerns over the use of the devices and a recommended ban was put in place POP and SUI operations. However, at least 700 women have had surgery involving mesh devices since the suspension was recommended to health boards across Scotland. The conclusion of the Review was published in March 2017 but has now been criticised by MSPs.
Olive McIlroy and Elaine Holmes, who led the petition on behalf of the Scottish Mesh Survivors’ ‘Hear our Voice’ campaign, said the review was ‘watered down’ and that significant parts detailing efficacy risks of mesh devices was removed.
That review itself is now being examined by professor Alison Britton of Glasgow Caledonian University.
The committee raises a number of concerns into the Scottish government’s approach to the use of mesh, including a ‘lack of urgency’ to ensure that patients are provided with the correct information about the devices.
It is also concerned with the final report of the Independent Review and believes it may not be suitable ‘as a basis for clinical and patient decisions’ and that the Scottish government should commit to revisiting the Review.
Indeed, if professor Britton finds any issues with the use of mesh by health boards in Scotland the committee believes it ‘the content of the final report must be reconsidered.’
Concerns are also raised into the Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s transvaginal mesh oversight group, which was created with the intent to review data and adverse events to do with mesh in NHS Scotland. The board was supposed to meet quarterly in 2018 but so far, the committee knows of only one meeting which has taken place throughout the year.
Mainly, the committee wishes for an end to the use of mesh devices in Scotland and wants the Scottish government to ensure that ‘no mesh procedures are carried out in Scotland until the committee, the parliament and the public can have confidence in the findings of the review.’