Ministers have announced new regulations in an attempt to protect consumers buying into the booming cosmetic surgery industry – an industry fraught with horror stories of botched treatments and accused of selling everything from surgery to Botox “like double glazing”.

Ministers in England said the industry had to change and have announced the following:

  • The Royal College of Surgeons should set standards for the training and practice of cosmetic surgery
  • Health Education England to review training for dermal fillers and Botox injections
  • Legislation to make it illegal for people without that training to perform non-surgical procedures.
  • A registry of breast implants to prevent a repeat of PIP
  • A review into a system of redress if things go wrong with treatment
  • More rigorous consent process to let patients have time to fully consider their decision to have surgery.
  • A clamp down on irresponsible advertising with the help of the Advertising Standards Authority.

But surgeons’ groups have immediately damned the above regulations as a missed opportunity to introduce stringent regulations.

Dermal fillers used to plump up lips and get rid of wrinkles are one major area of contention. A review of the industry by the medical director of the NHS in England, Sir Bruce Keogh, warned fillers could cause lasting harm, but were covered by only the same level of regulation as ballpoint pens and toothbrushes.

He said they were a “crisis waiting to happen and should become prescription only.” However, this will not take place and has been heavily criticised by plastic surgeons.

The BBC reported today that Rajiv Grover, a consultant plastic surgeon and president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), commented:

“Frankly, we are no less than appalled at the lack of action taken – this review, not the first one conducted into the sector, represents yet another thoroughly wasted opportunity to ensure patient safety. Legislators have clearly been paying only lip service to the sector’s dire warnings that dermal fillers are a crisis waiting to happen. The ability to classify fillers as prescription only would have allowed three birds to be killed with one stone. It would effectively have controlled the marketing and sale of these fillers, it would have regulated who can perform these injections and it would have provided an automatic ban on advertising. This is an opportunity missed.”

You can read the BBCs full article here:

Marie Neilson, Cosmetic Surgery Negligence Lawyer at Abacus said today,

“Having seen with my own eyes the way the industry can exploit the insecurities of its patients,  and the damage that is done when things go wrong, I find it hard to believe that the changes listed above will have any major positive impact on an unregulated industry where there is no control over who can perform the treatment or where they can be carried out, despite the fact that they can so easily  – and often do – go wrong.”

If you have suffered as a result of a cosmetic procedure that has been carried out incorrectly or negligently in any way, call Marie at Abacus Solicitors on 0161 833 0044.