The Scottish Government has announced that private clinics carrying out cosmetic procedures such as Botox, dermal fillers, teeth whitening and laser eye surgery are to be regulated from 2016.
This follows several years of media speculation, debate, industry investigations and recommendations for regulating non-surgical treatments in the UK and it is hoped that England will soon be in a position to follow suit as there is currently no regulation for these treatments anywhere in the UK.
Scottish independence means that legislation is to be brought in at Holyrood to allow Healthcare Improvement Scotland to start regulating private clinics where non-surgical cosmetic procedures are carried out from April.
A report for the Scottish Government found that around 16% of Scots have considered having some sort of cosmetic procedure and a further 4% have already had one done with cosmetic dentistry topping the list.
Public Health Minister Maureen Watt MSP said:
“Cosmetic procedures, both surgical and non-surgical, have increased massively in popularity over the last few years.”
“Many people are not aware that there is no regulation of independent clinics who provide non-surgical cosmetic procedures.”
“There are many reputable practitioners in Scotland, but unfortunately there are others who do not live up to those high standards.”
“That can lead to complications after procedures, sometimes leaving the customer with lasting injuries. By introducing a sound system of regulation and inspection we hope to reduce those instances.”
The Scottish Cosmetic Interventions Expert Group was set up in 2014 to consider how to regulate the industry and is behind the new regulation system which will commence with independent clinics in 2016.
The Group has also proposed
- ongoing training for those working in the industry
- sufficient insurance for all treatment providers
- a transparent complaint system
Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) already regulates private hospitals where cosmetic surgery takes place. Deputy Chief Executive Robbie Pearson welcomed the announcement, saying:
“Through the registration and inspection of all independent clinics, including those that provide non-surgical cosmetic treatments, we will ensure that the industry performs to a high standard that continually improves. This will ensure that patients get the best possible care every time.”
Niall Dickson, chief executive of the General Medical Council, is also pleased with the news, commenting:
“Patients who undergo cosmetic procedures need more protection. We welcome the proposals of the Scottish Government and believe they will promote improvements in patient safety and experience.”
“We have recently launched a public consultation on the standards we will expect from every doctor in the UK offering cosmetic treatment. This new guidance will also help patients understand what, they in turn, should expect from their doctor.”
Sharon Bennett, chair of the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses, said:
“The BACN fully supports the actions of the Scottish Government and the expert group with regard to developing frameworks and standards in relation to the delivery of non-surgical cosmetic procedures.”
“We believe that patient safety should be at the centre of any proposals agreed and that patients are assured at all times of the best medical care that is available from medical professionals who are accountable to their own governing councils.”
UK Botox Regulation
In the UK, there have been extensive investigations into how to regulate the market, notably the Keogh report in 2013. However, as yet there is no legislation to regulate the market, apart from those relating to prescription-only medicines (i.e. Botox must be prescribed by a qualified medic who, in the case of doctors who are governed by the GMC, has seen the patient face to face).
SkinViva Training was established in 2013, in order to teach best practice skills and techniques to other medical professionals wishing to develop high standards of cosmetic injection skills and knowledge. We only train registered medical professionals i.e. suitably qualified and registered medical professionals and regularly turn away those whose background does not fit the criteria.
SkinViva Training Academy, we work closely with leading industry bodies and promote high standards throughout for the benefit of patients of those we train.
We will therefore endeavour to keep this website updated with the latest news as it happens.
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