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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5O-01581: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 6 December 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what action it will take following the debate on 5 December 2017 on polypropylene mesh medical devices.

Answered by: Shona Robison 14 December 2017

Following the debate in the chamber last week, and in light of the BBC’s Panorama programme earlier this week, both the Chief Medical Officer and I have written to the MHRA to express concerns about the role of the MHRA in relation to transvaginal mesh. Furthermore, given the concerns, I have also written to the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt given his overall responsibility for the MHRA asking for a meeting to discuss these concerns.

In her letter, the Chief Medical Officer also raised the recent decision about the future use of mesh in Australia and is seeking some clarification on what evidence informed the Australian decision and confirmation that it is being considered by the Regulator.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland continue to progress plans for the first two meetings of the mesh Oversight Group and, in addition, Scottish Government officials continue to liaise with other UK nations about the options for a mesh registry.

Members will be aware that NICE undertook a public consultation on revised mesh guidance, and we expect that guidance to be published tomorrow. NICE IPP guidance applies across the UK, including in Scotland, and the Chief Medical Officer has therefore written to all Health Boards, alerting them to the fact that new guidance will shortly be published, and stressing that it must be implemented.

As ever, the Scottish Government's overriding concern is quality of care and, until the Chief Medical Officer is satisfied that the Review's recommendations have been implemented, and all necessary procedures, approvals and restrictions are in place, the request that routine use of mesh be suspended will continue.