5 March 2019

An investigation by Scottish Labour has revealed that there is still no formal process or policy in place for the free provision of period products in hospitals, one year after the original investigation which found that nurses have had to donate their own sanitary products to patients or run errands to local shops to buy them.

The new Freedom of Information requests have revealed that, although sanitary products are available for patients, NHS health boards still have no formal policy or processes, with an inconsistent approach being applied across Scotland.

In some cases it has been stated that the expectation is still that patients would be expected to take their own supplies to hospital.

Scottish Labour Shadow Secretary for Health, Monica Lennon MSP, said:

“It is disappointing that a year on from my initial investigation, there is still no consistent policy which ensures patients across Scotland have equal access to period products when in hospital.

“Access to period products is fundamental to human dignity as well as health and wellbeing, and any hospital not routinely providing these products means that the basic needs of patients won’t be met.

“Scottish Labour is leading the way in tackling period poverty, and my Member’s Bill will ensure there is universal free provision of period products for anyone who needs them.

“Hospital attendance is already a worrying time for people without the added stress of struggling to access period products.

"I have written to Jeane Freeman about this matter and hope that urgent action will be taken to put consistent policy in place.

"People need to be reassured that their right to access to period products during hospital stays will not be questioned.”

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