BAPRAS responds to the government's response to the review of regulation of cosmetic interventions
Tim Goodacre, Chair of Professional Standards for the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, said:
“The public has been waiting for a long time to see what the government will do to improve standards and ensure better protection. Whilst there are firm recommendations around medical devices and confirmation that only doctors on the specialist register should perform cosmetic surgery, it is wrong that vulnerable patients could suffer from a two tier system created by voluntary registration of practitioners and there is still work to do to ensure that bad practices are abolished.
“Whilst it is gratifying to see the Government endorse many of the findings of Sir Bruce Keogh’s report, we had really been hoping for more action, rather than endorsement. Unless we have clear decisive action targeting bad practice, with the full force of the law against those that fail to adhere to these higher standards, then it will allow irresponsible and often dangerous practices to continue, to the detriment of patient safety.
“We are very pleased that it is recommended that only doctors on a specialist register should perform cosmetic surgery and they should work within the scope of their specialty training. This is something we have always recommend to ensure patients are getting the most appropriate professional care.
“The government has said that a new code of practice for advertising standards should be created. We are pleased to see this code is recommended to include targeting socially irresponsible practices such as time limited deals and financial incentives. We hope that the code that is developed is fully supported and enforced to ensure that vulnerable people and particularly those under the age of 18 are better protected. We would also like to see some more explicit warnings on all advertising, outlining the potential risks of cosmetic procedures.
“We are concerned that a national register of non-surgical cosmetic practitioners will be voluntary, as this could result in creating a two tier health system where those that sign up and demonstrate best practice are forced to charge higher prices than those that don’t and who consequently attract people looking for cheap deals. Together with the British Association of Dermatologists and the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, 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.
“We are delighted to hear the recommendation that all injectable materials should be made prescription only medical devices. We must have the legislation follow swiftly though to make this a reality.
“We support Health Education England as they continue to develop new standards for training regulation for anyone practicing cosmetic non-surgical interventions. We need an informed and empowered public who are able to make active choices.”
BAPRAS, the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, is the voice of plastic surgery in the UK. It aims to increase the understanding of the professional specialty and scope of plastic surgery, promoting innovation in teaching, learning and research.
Founded in 1946 (originally as the British Association of Plastic Surgeons), today BAPRAS has over 800 members and is the professional representative body for reconstructive and aesthetic plastic surgeons providing services to patients on the NHS and privately in the UK. Members of the public can find a member plastic surgeon in their area by logging on to www.bapras.org.uk. Anyone can check the GMC to find out if a surgeon is on the plastic surgery specialist register- click here