RECOMMENDATIONS on how to improve care for women who have experienced complications from mesh procedures are to 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 medical devices are used by surgeons to treat pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence in women – conditions that can commonly occur after childbirth.

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

Among those whose lives have been devastated by mesh operations are Olive McIlroy and Elaine Holmes, who have campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness of the issue.

Olive, from Renfrew, and Elaine, from Newton Mearns, were jointly awarded the Amazing Lifetime Inspiration prize at this year’s No.1 Amazing Women Awards in recognition of their efforts.

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

The group, made up of senior clinical managers, medical directors and other key specialists, 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 further 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.

Alex Neil MSP, who served as Scotland’s Health Minister from 2012 to 2014, described the Scottish Government’s announcement as “an important step towards improving the lives of some of the women who have suffered from the devastating effects of mesh implants.”

He added: “It’s important the group works quickly to progress these recommendations while taking into account the personal experience of patients who have been affected.

“This move will be welcomed by campaigners, sufferers and politicians alike.”
The Scottish Mesh Survivors group can offer support to those affected by mesh implants.

For more information, visit here.