Mesh implant women to receive £1,000 payments

Reporter holding up a surgical mesh
Image caption,
Mesh surgery was suspended in Scotland, in all but exceptional circumstances, in 2014

Women who have suffered complications following vaginal mesh surgery are to receive one-off £1,000 payments from a £1m Scottish government fund.

Mesh implants have been used to treat conditions some women suffer after childbirth, such as incontinence and prolapse.

However, many women experienced painful, debilitating side effects.

The practice was suspended in Scotland "in all but exceptional circumstances" in 2014.

It was halted completely in 2018.

The new fund, which will be run by NHS National Services Scotland, will open for applications at the start of July and run until June next year.

A £1,000 payment will be made to women to help with costs associated with "emotional or practical support".

The Scottish government said the pay-outs were not to be seen as compensation for any perceived wrongdoing by the NHS.

It added that benefits for anyone who was unable to work as a result of their condition would not be affected.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said the government had "listened carefully to the views and experiences of the women affected".

Case review

She said: "We recognise the physical and emotional effects that mesh complications have had on women and we have already taken strong and decisive action."

She said this included halting the use of transvaginal mesh, developing a case note review and establishing a Complex Pelvic Mesh Removal Service.

Some of the women who have suffered complications met First Minister Nicola Sturgeon last November.

She was told a number of them had understood the mesh would be completely removed but that had not happened, leaving some of the synthetic substance still attached.

After hearing about their experiences, Ms Sturgeon confirmed that they would be given the chance to sit down with an independent clinician for a review of their case notes.