EASTWOOD MSP Jackson Carlaw has welcomed a ban in the use of all transvaginal mesh procedures, announced last week.

The Scottish Government was urged to launch an inquiry after the death of 75-year-old Eileen Baxter last month was linked to the controversial implants.

Her death came despite a suspension put in place four years ago, requiring the implants only be used in exceptional circumstances, and despite years of warnings from campaigners calling for an outright ban.

Among the most vocal critics have been Elaine Holmes, from Newton Mearns, and Olive McIlroy, from Renfrew, who both suffered severe complications following mesh implant surgery.

Last week, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman told the Scottish Parliament: “I have today asked the chief medical officer to instruct health boards to immediately halt the use of transvaginal mesh altogether in cases of both pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence, pending the implementation of a new restricted use protocol that will ensure procedures are carried out only in the most exceptional circumstances and subject to a robust process of approval and fully informed consent.

“The instruction to halt is, I believe, a proportionate measure whilst a rigorous, high vigilance ‘restricted use protocol’ for any future practice is developed and put in place.”

Speaking in the parliamentary debate, Jackson Carlaw MSP, a long-time supporter of a ban, said: “It seems to me, and I hope to many others, to be a decisive step on a pathway to a different approach to the whole question of mesh.

“I hope that Elaine Holmes, Olive McIlroy and all the women who I hope are watching this afternoon can at least give one qualified cheer for the progress that it represents while recognising and paying tribute to Eileen Baxter and Michele McDougall, the women who have died – one directly and the other indirectly – as a result of this medical process.

“It is an unhappy coincidence that the process has been available since 2007, but I consider that a Government of any stripe would have embraced it.

“It is only in recent times that many have felt that, in the face of evidence, we have not been pursuing the path that is clear and singularly appropriate.”