Professor of Healthcare and Medical Law to examine Independent Review

18 May 2017

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Shona Robison has commissioned Glasgow Caledonian University’s (GCU) Professor Alison Britton to examine and report on the Scottish Government’s Independent Review into Transvaginal mesh implants.   

The final Independent Review was published this year in March 2017. The review assessed the evidence relating to the surgical procedure of transvaginal mesh implants, when in 2014, former Health Secretary Alex Neil called for the suspension of the procedure, and an independent review group was set up to look at the safety issues.

Transvaginal mesh implants are medical devices used by surgeons to treat pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence in women, conditions that can commonly occur after childbirth.

Professor Britton said: “It is an honour to be asked by the Cabinet Secretary to examine and report on the Independent Review. I am aware of the challenges that lie ahead.”

Professor Britton will consider how the independent review process was undertaken and look to lessons learned for the future, including a review of the selection of committee members; potential conflicts of interest; and the management of external influences.

Following this, Professor Britton is expected to draft guidance for the chairs and members of all independent inquiries to ensure that full understanding of the roles and terms of reference and to support those who give their time and expertise.

Professor Britton is a specialist in public healthcare, clinical negligence, mental health law and professional ethics. In recent years, her interests have focused upon the practical application and the role of law in matters of public health. She is currently working with the General Medical Council to review their guidelines on consent.