Changes to the regulation of cosmetic operations
14 April, 2016
Update September 2016:
The Department of Health last week launched an eight-week consultation to expand the rating programme of facilities. This rating system, run by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), would be expanded to cover up to 1,000 facilities if the consultation period is successful, 100 of these would be cosmetic surgery clinics, with alcohol dependency and pregnancy termination services also being covered. As a result of these proposed changes, cosmetic surgery clinics may be named if they are not up to standard. Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary claims that this will mean that clinics with poor standards are held to account, and it will therefore end the 'lottery' of negligent practices.
It was announced this week that The General Medical Council will be stamping down on rogue cosmetic procedure practices. The new rules, which come into force in June, will introduce regulation into an industry that has been largely left to do as it pleases. First4Lawyers welcome this change. Claims where customers receive botched surgery should hopefully decrease with the new rules, and of course this is what we want for consumers. It is great to see that the voices of those who have been wronged by these ‘cowboy’ doctors are being heard, although unfortunately for many it may be too little, too late. There are also still aspects of the beauty industry that remain unregulated, such as teeth whitening often carried out by beauticians with little, if any, training. We hope to see these industries regulated too, now that areas such as cosmetic surgery are being recognised as needing improvement.
The new rules will apply to both private clinics and cosmetic procedures on the NHS, and will prevent patients from being rushed or pushed into having surgery.It will also prevent ‘deals’ on procedures, such as 2 for 1 offers. In fact, any promotional tactics such as this will now be banned. The threat of being struck off the medical register faces those who break the rules. The guidelines also specify that the patient must be aware of any risks involved, and must know who to contact should there be complications following the procedure.
A review in 2013 of the industry saw Professor Sir Bruce Keogh state that ‘a person having a non-surgical cosmetic intervention has no more protection and redress than someone buying a ballpoint pen or a toothbrush.’ Such lax guidelines as stood previously meant that operations that were botched or unethical were able to go unpunished, and many victims were left with injuries and scars that they should never have received if the industry was properly regulated. This was also often because those carrying out the procedures were not necessarily qualified to do so. The Royal College of Surgeons of England is campaigning that the government introduce legislation stating that cosmetic operations must only be carried out by surgeons certified to do so.
Our head of marketing, Andy Cullwick, states ‘First4Lawyers see many instances of botched cosmetic surgery, which has often ruined the lives and confidence of the claimant. We welcome the news that these guidelines will prevent this from happening to others. We see it as an acknowledgement that the industry has been allowed to continue unregulated for far too long.’If you or a loved one has been effected by botched cosmetic surgery, First4Lawyers are here to help. Please call one of our claims team today on the number at the top of your screen for a free consultation. Alternatively, you can fill in the claims form and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.