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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-15775: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 11 April 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the impact on a person's life of mesh injuries as a result of treatment for stress urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse or hernia, and whether it will support the UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health by writing to the Department for Work and Pensions on this issue.

Answered by: Shona Robison 8 June 2018

The Scottish Government sympathises with anyone who has suffered complications after receiving a mesh implant. It is imperative that any such patient receives the follow-up care they need, and that is why the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland continue to develop pathways of care and have taken steps to improve the availability of information for those affected.

The Scottish Government is supportive of all those individuals wishing to claim DWP benefits, including as a result of complications following mesh surgery. I therefore welcome the Under Secretary of State's decision to write to the DWP, and I can confirm that I also plan to do so. Subject to eligibility checks, any individual, including those women who have suffered as a result of having mesh implants, may make a claim to any benefit at any time, including those benefits classed as ‘disability benefits’, including PIP. When determining any claim, all cases are considered on their individual merits and any assessment should be based upon a functional, rather than a medical, assessment. In reaching a decision on entitlement, assessors and decision makers must consider how an individual’s condition affects them on a daily basis, rather than solely on the condition itself and, in the case of women who have had transvaginal implants, the severity of their injuries.