Geoff Buck

Senior Associate

Dispute Resolution


Cosmetic surgery industry to be more closely regulated

Geoff Buck

A review commissioned by the Department of Health in England has recommended a series of measures to better protect cosmetic surgery patients.

The industry is forecast to be worth £3.6 billion by the end of 2015, with growing popularity of procedures such as dermal fillers, laser hair removal and botox.

In Europe there is more regulation, but in the UK a lot of procedures only have the same level of regulation as toothbrushes. The review also highlighted that there are no checks on surgeons’ qualifications on some parts of the private sector, with a lot of doctors based abroad who fly to the UK to perform operations then fly back out of the country.

There are also a lot of concerns around the level of after care and insurance for patients, following on from the PIP silicone breast implants scare.

Some of the recommendations include:

-         Legislation to classify fillers as prescription only

-         Formal qualifications for anyone who injects fillers or botox

-         Register of everyone who performs surgical or non-surgical cosmetic interventions

-         Ban on special financial offers for surgery

-         Formal certificate of competence for cosmetic surgeons

-         A breast implant register to monitor patients

-         Compulsory insurance in case things go wrong

-         A pooled fund to help patients when companies go bust, similar to the travel industry

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