A £1 million fund is being created to help support women with transvaginal mesh complications.
The scheme will be run by NHS National Services Scotland and open for applications at the start of July and run until the end of June next year.
It will be available to women who have experienced complications after having vaginal mesh implanted in procedures carried out by or on behalf of a Scottish health board.
Successful applicants will receive a one-off payment of £1,000 towards costs associated with emotional or practical support.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman MSP said:
“We have listened carefully to the views and experiences of women affected when setting up this fund.
“The application process has been made as simple and straightforward as possible and the fund will help those who experienced hardship as a result of the complications caused by mesh implants.
“We recognise the physical and emotional effects mesh complications have had on women and we have already taken strong and decisive action, including halting the use of transvaginal mesh, developing a case note review and establishing a Complex Pelvic Mesh Removal Service.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
“I will not try to pretend I can imagine the mental and physical pain those who suffer from complications of vaginal mesh implants face on a daily basis. It must be a truly harrowing experience no woman deserves to be subjected to.
“While no real justice can ever be achieved for those women who have been given mesh implants, this scheme will hopefully provide some much deserved relief.”
The scheme is not intended to compensate for any perceived wrongdoing by the NHS nor to replace Department of Work and Pensions benefits for anyone unable to work as a result of their condition nor for any treatment not provided or arranged by a Scottish Health Board. Further information on precise eligibility criteria and how to apply will be made available closer to the scheme opening date of Wednesday 1 July.
The Health and Social Care Alliance, a national third sector intermediary for a range of health and social care organisations, is co-designing the case note reviews. The Alliance asked a number of the women how they thought the fund should be allocated and their views that each should be offered the same amount and with no means testing have been reflected.
In September 2018 the Health Secretary ordered a halt to use of transvaginal mesh in Scotland and has made it repeatedly clear that there is no prospect of transvaginal mesh being reintroduced.