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Complex mesh surgical service

Published on 07 February 2024

Independent Providers

Most women who opt for surgery will choose to have the procedure undertaken in Glasgow by the complex mesh surgery service, but some women prefer to have their surgery elsewhere.

Following comprehensive assessment in Glasgow, women can be referred by their local consultant to one of two providers in the independent sector. Currently, the two independent providers we work with are based in Bristol, England and St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

Patients choosing either of the independent providers will have their surgical and travel costs covered by the NHS, as well as receive an upfront daily allowance payment for meals and non-alcoholic drinks for them and their companion.

For more information on the allowance and what it can or cannot be used for, please download our information leaflet.

A mesh co-ordinator is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm on 01698 794 400 and can assist with any non-clinical administrative questions, travel arrangements and sign posting relating to the independent providers.

Travel arrangements to independent providers

You and your companion's travel and accommodation to and from the independent provider (IP) will be organised via the mesh co-ordinator once you have chosen your IP and funding has been approved. The mesh co-ordinator will contact you by email with a booking form to complete and return identifying any special requirements you have

Patients travelling to the independent provider in England have the option to have standard economy return flights, or train travel as well as their accommodation arranged for them by Healix International. If you and your companion would prefer to drive, then the cost of fuel can be claimed back at the current advisory fuel rate.

National Services Scotland (NSS) have collaborated closely with the Scottish Government to organise funding and travel arrangements for women seeking mesh removal surgery with independent providers. It has been agreed that all international outbound flights will be standard trans-Atlantic economy class and international return flights will be in business class for both you and your companion.

Regarding concerns about deep vein thrombosis (DVT) on long-haul flights, the World Health Organisation's 'Research Into Global Hazards of Travel' (WRIGHT) project has found that the risk of venous thromboembolism does increase after a long-haul flight of four hours or more. Crucially, this risk is more associated with immobility rather than factors such as increased legroom.
WHO Research Into Global Hazards of Travel (‎WRIGHT)‎ Project : final report of phase I

National Services Scotland and Scottish Government have considered this closely when agreeing the standard of international travel offered. The decision is guided by the clinical evidence available and our responsibility to ensure equitable use of NHS resources to provide safe, effective and person-centred care to the population of Scotland.

For more information about the independent provider route, please download our information leaflet.