Participant Q&A

Why has this review been set up?

The Scottish Government has arranged this review following the meetings with the First Minister in November 2019. During the meetings, women raised concerns that entries in their case records may not accurately reflect the treatment they had received.

What will the review look at?

The Review Panel will look at your concerns about information in your case records and how the entries in your records have been reported to you, specifically about whether your mesh was fully or partially removed.

You will be given a participant form to fill in to provide your concerns in advance, and those concerns will provide the basis for your review.

The review will involve an open discussion, where your case records will be explained and considered.

What won’t the review look at?

This is not intended as a review of your overall experience and full medical history. It will focus on your concerns about the full or partial removal of mesh and how this has been recorded in your case records.

If you are concerned about any other part of your care or treatment, you should contact your health board. The Review Panel administrator can give you details of how to do this. Taking part in this review does not affect your rights to raise a complaint with your health board or start any legal proceedings.

The Review Panel will not make any specific recommendations for further treatment. You should continue to see your GP and other healthcare professionals to make sure you receive appropriate care.

Do I have to take part?

No. The review is voluntary and it is up to you to decide whether or not you think this would be helpful to you. If you want to take part in the review, fill in and return the consent form that was sent to you. If you do not want to take part, you do not need to take any action.

Who will be on the Review Panel?

The Review Panel will be made up of the following people.

  • Moderator
    Alison Britton, Professor of Healthcare and Medical Law, Glasgow School for Business and Society, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Administrator
    Irene Brown, Administrator, Directorate of School Professional Services, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Clinicians
    Professor Anthony Smith, Professor of Urogynaecology (Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre), consultant gynaecologist (retired)

Mr Ian Currie, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Dr Carey Lunan, GP, Scotland

How have the Panel members been chosen?

The Review Panel members have been chosen based on their individual qualities, expertise, knowledge, authority and standing.

What will the review involve?

If you return your consent form to confirm that you want to be part of the review, you will be sent a participant form to fill in. That form will ask you to set out your main concerns and the evidence you would like reviewed.

It is important that you feel supported throughout this process. The Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance can provide support, and we encourage you to use their service if you need help with any part of the review process. An advocate from the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance will be able to support you in expressing your concerns and filling in the participant form. If you would like to use this service, please let the administrator know.

What happens after I fill in and return the consent form?

You will be invited to a ‘virtual meeting’ with the moderator to discuss the review process. Please tell the administrator if you have any concerns about using technology for this stage of the process.

The virtual meeting will be held online.

After the virtual meetings, the moderator will ask the relevant health boards to provide the evidence the Review Panel needs to look into your concerns. The healthcare professional responsible for your case records will be asked whether they would like to give their own opinion and address your concerns.  All information that identifies you will be removed by the health boards.

The moderator will then invite you to join in another virtual meeting, to make sure that the Panel have the relevant case record entries from the health boards. Once you have confirmed this, the records will be passed to the Review Panel. Each clinician on the Review Panel will check the records separately and fill in a form to set out their understanding of the records.

The full Review Panel will then meet to discuss the records and reach a decision about how accurate your records are. 

After the decision is reached, you and anyone supporting you will meet with the moderator, the administrator and one clinical member of the Review Panel so the decision can be explained to you and the records can be discussed. It is expected that this will also be a virtual meeting.

The findings of the review will also be clearly set out in a report that will be sent to you and the health board. You will have the opportunity to comment on this report after you have carefully considered it.

Finally, the moderator will write to you to ask you for feedback on the review process. Your feedback will help influence future reviews.

What information will not be shown in my case records?

Any information which identifies you or others, such as names, addresses and dates of birth, will be removed from your records. So the Review Panel will not know whose case records they are looking at (until you meet with them) or who the healthcare professional responsible for the records is.

Your CHI number (which is your unique identification number for the NHS) will be left on your records to make sure that the moderator and administrator can link your records with your participant form.

Can I bring someone with me?

Yes, you are encouraged to bring someone with you for support. An advocate from the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance can also support you. If you would like support from an advocate, please let the administrator know.

Making sure that you have the support you need is an important part of the review process.

Can I change my mind about taking part?

Of course. The review is entirely voluntary and you can stop taking part in it at any time.

What will happen if the Review Panel thinks my case records are not accurate?

If the Review Panel thinks that your case records do not accurately reflect the treatment you received, they will send their report on the review to your health board for them to consider. The entry relating to your case records will be flagged so that those involved in your future care can see that you have been involved in the review.

In all cases, the report will be added to your medical records.

Who will have access to my case records?

The five members of the Review Panel will have access to your records during the review.

Confidentiality is a priority, and your details will be kept private. There are arrangements in place to make sure that there is no unauthorised access to your information.

If you ask to see the personal information we hold about you, another authorised member of staff within Scottish Government may need access to your information.

More information about how your personal information can be used is given in our privacy notice. This is on our website or you can ask us for a copy.

What happens if I’m not happy with the review?

You will have an opportunity to raise any comments and questions about the review with the Review Panel. If you are not happy with the Panel’s final response to your comments and questions, you can make a complaint to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO).

If you have any other complaints about your case records, or about the care and treatment you have received, you should contact your health board. The administrator will give you the information you need to do this. If you are unhappy with your health board’s response, you can ask the SPSO to consider your complaint.

Can I speak to the media about the case record review?

You are asked not to speak to the media about this review until the entire process has ended. This is to make sure that media coverage does not harm the review for other participants.