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CQC Remit to Include Cosmetic Surgery

Department of Health Response to Consultation

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Following a consultation on expanding the CQC’s remit to include additional sectors, the Department of Health announced on 12th September 2017 that new regulation would come into force from November 2017, making CQC registration mandatory for cosmetic surgery providers and other sectors. 

Until now, the CQC has given ratings under the compulsory scheme for the following:

  • NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts
  • GP practices
  • Adult social care providers
  • Independent hospitals.

Section 7 of the DOH document on the CQC consultation response explains the areas of expansion:

“Following the consultation that was conducted last year, the Department of Health will amend the performance assessment regulations for all service types consulted on except for independent community health service providers due to the difficulties in ascertaining the scope and extent of such providers. We believe that it is important to act on the outcomes of the consultation and will be laying new regulations to impose a duty on the CQC to assess the performance and rate the following sectors:

  • Cosmetic Surgery Services (involving intravenous sedation, general anaesthetic or insertion of an implant)
  • Independent Ambulance Services
  • Independent Dialysis Services
  • Refractive Eye Surgery Services
  • Substance Misuse Services
  • Termination of Pregnancy Services”

This announcement means that the CQC will now conduct performance assessment reviews for the above additional groups and assign a rating for the quality and safety of the service provided.

What Defines Cosmetic Surgery Providers for the CQC?

  • Surgical procedures for cosmetic purposes are defined as being where the procedure requires intravenous sedation, general anaesthesia or the insertion of an implant; or where the procedure involves the use of instruments or equipment which are inserted into the body’
  • This includes procedures such as face lifts, breast implants, liposuction, removal of bags
    under the eyes, brow lifts and buttock implants.

Is Minor Surgery Included?

  • Minor surgical procedures such as skin tag, wart and skin blemish removal are NOT to be compulsorily regulated by the CQC as such procedures are considered low risk.
  • Where they are regulated by the CQC they are classed as low-risk services and therefore subject to lower frequency of inspection

The Department of Health response states:

“As stated in the consultation document, the rationale for proposing providers of cosmetic surgery be included in the scope of the ratings regulations, is because of historic concerns about safety and quality of some providers in the cosmetic surgery sector. Extending ratings of providers to this sector combined with the requirement to display the rating, is intended to meet the recommendation of Sir Bruce Keogh’s review of the regulation of cosmetic interventions.”

Are Non-Surgical Treatments Included?

The definition of Cosmetic Surgery providers does NOT currently extend to cosmetic treatments and other non-surgical procedures.

Aesthetic treatments such as cosmetic injections (BOTOX and dermal fillers) and laser skin rejuvenation don’t currently fall within the new expanded scope, so registration remains voluntary for practitioners and companies operating purely within aesthetics.

However, this expansion of the CQC’s role does indicate further strengthening of regulation in a sector which has been criticised for doing too little to protect the patient.

What’s more, a second consultation is already underway to explore further extension of the CQC’s remit to include independent community health services and independent doctors.

Meanwhile, extensive work is underway for the establishment of a Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) and partnering Cosmetic Practice Standards Authority (CPSA) designed to provide robust voluntary regulation and clinical and practice based standards for the non-surgical cosmetic interventions sector following the 2016 review of Health Education England

More Information


BOTOX® & Fillers Training

SkinViva Training is a major provider of cosmetic treatment courses for practitioners. The company welcomes better regulation of the industry and work to further higher standards among practitioners through quality training courses.

We will continue to update this website with industry regulation news.

Botox and Fillers Training Manchester

SkinViva Training offer a comprehensive range of aesthetic treatment training courses for medical professionals such as suitably qualified and registered medical professionals who wish to learn and build on their skills in delivering these procedures. For more information, please feel to browse our latest availability.

SkinViva Training was established by by Dr Tim Pearce MBChB BSc (Hons) MRCGP in 2013 after he set up SkinViva in 2008 – an aesthetic treatment business which now covers the North West of England.

For further information, to discuss which course is right for you, to enquire about availability or to book a training course please call 0161 850 2491, or email info@skinvivatraining.com.

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