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FOI release

FOI – 000325 Essure implant (HTML)

Published on 20 December 2022

Date received - 06 December 2022 | Date responded - 20 December 2022


I am writing to you on behalf of my constituents to enquire about the side-effects of the Essure contraceptive implant in affected women across Lothian.

Please could you advise what proportion of women in Lothian who had an Essure contraceptive implant have had to subsequently undergo (a) a hysterectomy and (b) any other surgery as a result of the implant?

If you do not hold this data, please could you direct me to the organisation where this data will be held? It is not held by the Scottish Government or the Local Health Board. Only very limited data is held by the MHRA, who have advised me to contact you.


I can advise you that we have now completed the search of our records and can provide you with the following information:

Under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Scotland Act (FOISA) an organisation does not require to provide information if it does not hold that information. National Services Scotland (NSS) does not hold any information relating to women in Lothian who had an Essure contraceptive implant that have had to subsequently undergo a hysterectomy and/or any other surgery as a result of the implant.

The total number of reports that the Incident Reporting Investigation Centre (IRIC) received regarding Essure implants by patients from NHS Lothian is fewer than 5 for the year 2019, with no reports received in any other year. Therefore, under section 38 (1) (b) of FOISA, we have not provided exact numbers or details of the report to ensure no patient identifiable information is released in line with the Caldicott Principles.

Under Section 15 of the FOISA, in order to give advice or assistance we believe the data requested, if available, would be held within individual patient records at local General Practice or Health Board level and therefore the information would not be accessible through FOI requests.

I trust you will find the information of assistance and if you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you are unhappy with any aspect of how we have dealt with your request, you can make representations to us asking us to review the handling of your request.

If you require any further information, please contact the Head of Information and Cyber Security, Digital and Security, within 40 working days of the date of this correspondence.



NHS National Services Scotland
Gyle Square
1 South Gyle Crescent
EH12 9EB

If after a review you are still unhappy, you also have the right to apply to the Scottish Information Commissioner, who can be contacted at Kinburn Castle, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS, or via their application form.

National Services Scotland (NSS) is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. You can view all FOI responses within our FOI Publications repository.