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Mesh implant surgery compensation scheme to open for applications

Mesh implants have not been used in vaginal surgeries in Scotland since 2018 (Kath Sansom/PA)
Mesh implants have not been used in vaginal surgeries in Scotland since 2018 (Kath Sansom/PA)

Women who have had to pay for surgery to remove mesh implants will be able to apply for compensation from next month.

The Transvaginal Mesh Removal Reimbursement Scheme will allow women who paid for private surgery – which costs between £16,000 and £23,000 – to claim the money back, with applications opening on June 6.

To be eligible for the dedicated fund, arrangements for treatment must be made by June 3.

After this date, patients seeking treatment by the NHS will be seen through the Complex Pelvic Mesh Removal Service in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Arrangements for future mesh removal surgery in independent hospitals is progressing, and an agreement is in place for Spire Health Care in Bristol to accept referrals.

The Scottish Government said “positive discussions” are continuing with Dr Dionysios Veronikis, a specialist in the removal of transvaginal mesh implants based in Missouri, United States.

Mesh implants have not been used in vaginal surgeries in Scotland since 2018, when ministers put a moratorium in place after women who had undergone the procedure complained of painful and debilitating complications.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “The opening of the scheme is a significant milestone enabling women to claim back the money they felt they had to use to get their treatment.

“The cut-off date will give sufficient time for anyone who is currently in the process of finalising arrangements to do so before it opens.

“Women who require mesh removal surgery are now also able to ask to be referred to a specialist NHS centre in England or to an independent provider.

“These options are being offered in conjunction with the service already provided in NHS Scotland and all options will be provided free of charge to the patient.

“I encourage anyone who wishes referral to one of these services to make their wishes known to their clinical team, if they have not already done so.”

The existing Mesh Fund, set up by the Scottish Government, will close to applications on May 31.

Anyone who is eligible to apply and has previously received a payment from the Mesh Fund will not be excluded from applying for reimbursement under the scheme, and any previous payments will not be deducted.