What is the Government Doing to Regulate Non-Surgical Cosmetic Procedures?

With non-surgical cosmetic procedures more popular than ever, unsatisfied patients and cosmetic cowboys are sadly on the rise too. Just over a year ago, the Medical Director of the NHS in England, Sir Bruce Keogh, released his findings on the topic. But is the government acting on his suggestions?

register-257986_640Current RegulationCurrently, as these procedures do not involve surgery, they are almost entirely unregulated. This means that the person performing them doesn’t need to have a medical certificate in order to carry them out, nor is it a legal requirement for them to be monitored by a regulatory body.The implications of this are significant; the lack of regulation surrounding non-surgical cosmetic procedures means that anyone, regardless of their skills and experience, can set up as a non-surgical cosmetic practitioner and offer procedures to the general public.

In addition to this, the lack of proper regulation means that if you did go to an unaccredited practitioner and anything were to go wrong with your non-surgical cosmetic procedure, there would not be a structure in place in order for you to claim compensation. However, Save Face accredited practitioners are guaranteed to have insurance and complaints policies in place, so that if something were to go wrong, it would be managed professionally.

It is for these reasons that it is vitally important to find and use a reputable non-surgical cosmetic practitioner for any treatment you may consider having.

What is the Government Doing?

It’s now been over a year since Sir Keogh’s report, so what is being done? Not a significant amount, it seems. Although the government agrees with the majority of his recommendations, they are only acting upon some of them.

However, despite Keogh’s recommendation, there aren’t any plans to introduce a mandatory register for practitioners of non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

Why Isn’t There a Mandatory Register?

Regulation of such treatments seems like a no-brainer, so the lack of action taken on this subject is surprising. The government did originally back the idea of making injections available on a prescription only basis, but as European legislation does not list these treatments as medicines, their hands are tied and fillers cannot be reclassified.

Some believe that even if a register was implemented it wouldn’t work, as staff administering these injections would only have to be ‘overseen’ by a qualified and registered individual.

The chair of professional standards at BAPRAS, Tim Goodcare, has also shared his concerns that this would lead to those on the register being forced to raise their prices, alienating themselves from those looking for a cheap deal. Despite his concerns however, he does believe a register of some kind is required. He said,

“Together with the British Association of Dermatologists and BAAPS, we wrote to health minister Dan Poulter in December 2013 to outline the need for this register to be mandatory and we are deeply disappointed that this has been ignored.”

In addition to the arguments mentioned above, further objections have been raised relating to the commercial, cosmetic and elective nature of non-surgical cosmetic procedures. As these procedures are non-essential, it is thought that perhaps it shouldn’t be down to the government to invest tax-payers’ money into a mandatory register.

Use Save Face

Regardless of whether or not it is publicly funded, we think a centralised register is essential to protect the consumer from unqualified and unsafe practitioners. This is why we at Save Face have stepped in. Using our very own comprehensive accreditation scheme, we assess and list only the best practitioners and clinics on our website. So if you are looking for a safe procedure, use Save Face!


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