Tue 5 Dec, 2017

We missed the opportunity to lead then and we let down mesh survivors in the process. Alison Johnstone MSP

The findings of a report into the scandal of women being forced to live in severe and constant pain because of transvaginal mesh implants must be looked at again a Green MSP will say today.

Alison Johnstone MSP, the Scottish Greens’ health spokesperson, also says the recommendations do not give sufficient clarity to ministers, MSPs and the Scottish Mesh Survivors – the group behind the Hear Our Voice campaign.

Lothian MSP Alison Johnstone said:

“The Public Petitions Committee has reflected that Professor Alison Britton’s report on the independent review will focus on the process that was followed and will not revisit the findings and recommendations of the report itself.  In Dr Wael Agur’s view, a consultant urogynecologist who is playing a leading role in the review, recommending that ‘transvaginal mesh procedures must not be offered routinely’ does not give sufficient clarity.  I too believe that the findings of the report must also be revisited.

“Scotland had an opportunity to show global leadership on mesh.  I am, like other MSPs, extremely dismayed that the final report did not reflect that.  We missed the opportunity to lead then and we let down mesh survivors in the process.

“Work to improve reporting of adverse incidents related to medical devices is more urgent than ever.  The case for imposing a real suspension of all transvaginal mesh procedures is stronger than ever and I urge the Cabinet Secretary to open the Final Report of the Scottish review of mesh surgery up to public consultation.”

Johnstone added:

“Meeting the mesh survivors when they came to Parliament was eye-opening.  No one appreciates more than the women themselves how debilitating, how life-restricting incontinence can be.  While we all appreciate that surgery can never be guaranteed 100% safe or side effect free, to have such devastating outcomes in a group of patients is absolutely unacceptable.”

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