Gathering views on implanted medical devices

Gathering views on implanted medical devices

The Scottish Government's Medical Devices and Legislation Unit asked us to find out about patients' experiences of receiving an implanted medical device, sometimes known as an implant.

This work specifically focuses on what information was provided to patients before and after getting the implant, the processes and opportunities they had for feeding back about their experience, and their opinions on a proposed system for tracking implanted medical devices.


The Medical Devices and Legislation Unit (MDLU) – which is part of the Scottish Government – is committed to developing policies to improve patient safety and outcomes in NHS Scotland around the use of medical devices. Gathering patient views will help them to ensure that patient interests and experiences are built into the new Medical Devices Policy Framework as it is being developed.

The findings from this work will:

  • guide the Medical Devices Policy Framework as it develops, aiming to improve patient safety
  • inform the NHS Scotland Scan for Safety Programme. This is a joint programme between NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government to develop an approach to tracking and tracing high-risk implanted devices across Scotland. The aim is for information about medical devices to be recorded digitally and in the same way across Scotland, at the point of care, to improve patient safety and help patients make informed choices about their treatment and care.

We carried out engagement with members of the public during the summer of 2023. The report is anticipated to be published in April 2024.

Agreeing the topic with the commissioning organisation

Asking members of the public for their views and experiences

Analysing the feedback from members of the public, identifying themes and developing recommendations

Final report and recommendations agreed and published

The Scottish Government team reports back after 6, 12 and 18 months on how people's views have influenced the Policy Framework

What we mean by "implanted medical device"

By "implanted medical device" we mean anything embedded into the body to be used in your diagnosis, treatment or care. You may also know these as "implants", and these can include, for example, pacemakers and joint replacements.

Gathering the views of people with implanted medical devices

For this work we are talking to people who:

  • have one or more implanted medical devices. Contraceptive devices are not included in this work.
  • got the implanted medical device within the last 8 years, from 2015 onwards. This includes people who have had an implant for longer but got their implant replaced in the last 8 years.
  • got the implanted medical device through NHS Scotland, not privately nor through another part of the NHS e.g. NHS England, or in another country abroad.
  • got the implanted medical device through planned care, not as part of urgent care.

We can also speak with carers or guardians of someone with an implanted medical device matching the criteria above.

We can also speak to people who got an implant within the last 8 years but don’t have it any more.

How people took part

For this work we carried out individual interviews in person, online or via telephone depending on the person's preference.

In the interview we asked questions on people's experience of getting an implanted medical device. We focused specifically on:

  • information that they may have received before and after getting their implanted medical device
  • feedback processes around this
  • their thoughts on the tracking system being developed for implanted medical devices

Participation is voluntary. All feedback is anonymised.

If you would like to find out more about this work, receive the report once it's published or discuss whether you may be able to participate, please get in touch.

This page will be updated as the work develops.

Last Updated: 25 March 2024