The frightening lack of regulation in the UK means that only a minority of the general public are protected from self-appointed experts, making unrealistic claims and unqualified practitioners.

It may seem bizarre but even doctors in the UK are not allowed to perform procedures on animals unless it’s a very specialist procedure & even then a fully qualified vet has to be present.  Yet anyone, medically qualified or not, in any corner salon or front room can administer potentially harmful medical procedures on your face with long lasting side effects without recourse.

A person having a non-surgical cosmetic procedure in the UK has no more protection and redress than someone buying a ballpoint pen or a toothbrush.

We asked our expert advisor, Mr Ash Mosahebi, his thoughts on the current lack or regulation in the UK.

I have just come back from a medical conference in France where I was an invited speaker representing British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS). There in a nation where people are regularly considered beautiful, only qualified dermatologists & Plastic surgeons can offer and perform cosmetic procedures. Not so here in the UK.

So why is it not the case in the UK?

You have probably heard about the PIP breast implant scandal where a French implant manufacturer had been marketing industrial grade silicone as pure medical grade.  And the subsequent thorough enquiry by NHS medical director at the time, Sir Bruce Keogh, highlighting the lax & unregulated cosmetic industry in UK.  The cosmetic or aesthetic industry covers everything from Botox and fillers to chemical peels, lasers and cosmetic surgery.  In fact, a person having a non-surgical cosmetic intervention has no more protection and redress than someone buying a ballpoint pen or a toothbrush.

The Keogh Report Also highlighted, “that dermal fillers are a crisis waiting to happen.

I was part of the panel who help create the new Health Education England (HEE) mandate and one of his key recommendation had been that HEE’s mandate should include the development of appropriate accredited qualifications for providers of non-surgical interventions and it should determine accreditation requirements for the various professional groups. I have been on the expert reference group panel board & together with other involved stakeholders HEE has set out recommendations that will protect patients & raise the standard of delivery of non-surgical interventions. Complexity and potential risk of such interventions has been graded to different levels & appropriate complexity and requirements have been assigned to them.  Yet despite producing a comprehensive report, it lacks any teeth as they remain voluntary and only represents good practice.




So there is still no regulation or protection for patients having treatments and procedures?

The Government’s response has been simply to improve open market standards, introduce the HEE voluntary requirements and reduce economic and restrictive practices.  However, the industry is slowly changing for the better.  The General Medical Council (GMC) now requires that doctors (surgeons/surgical companies) must avoid irresponsible enticements and manage their patients responsibly and look after their complications.  But this does only apply to surgical procedures and medically qualified practitioners and does not take steps to introduce mandatory regulations that protect patients from everyone performing treatments.

We Say:  Do your homework and always visit a medically qualified practitioner.  The Buy 1 Boob Get 1 Free offers may be gone but sharing dermal fillers and cheap daily deals on cosmetic treatments is still a very worrying reality #safetyissmart

The consumer should always make themselves aware of the safety of their practitioner and clinic at every opportunity before treatment.  If in doubt get in touch with us to #AsktheExpert ASK@totallyaesthetic.com or fill in our Patient Enquiry Form