May 19, 2024

Government Cracks Down On ‘Botched’ Cosmetic Procedures With New Law

The UK’s non-surgical cosmetic industry is valued at around £3. 6 billion. But did you know that currently, you don’t legally need a license to perform procedures like Botox or filler injections?

In fact, there is no official industry regulation or qualification standard for cosmetic treatments – an issue that many respected practitioners have campaigned against for some time.

But finally, the UK government is taking steps to regulate the non-surgical cosmetic industry, with today seeing the launch of the first-ever consultation on these treatments. Over the next eight weeks (the consultation finishes on 28 October, 2023), all those in the aesthetics industry, and people who have undergone cosmetic procedures – including Botox, laser hair removal and dermal fillers – are invited to fill in this survey on how to make them safer.

Your views will be used to shape regulations that protect patients from potential harm associated with poorly performed procedures.

The passing of the Health and Care Act in April 2022 gave the Health and Social Care Secretary the power to introduce a licensing regime. Under the proposed scheme, which will be operated by local authorities in England, practitioners will need to be licensed to perform specific procedures, and the premises from which they operate will also need to be licensed. There will be restrictions on those who can perform certain high-risk procedures, too.

“Whether it’s Botox, dermal fillers or even a chemical peel, we have heard too many stories of people who’ve had bad experiences from getting a cosmetic procedure from someone who is inexperienced or underqualified,» Maria Caulfield, minister for the Women’s Health Strategy said in a statement. “There’s no doubt that the popularity of cosmetic procedures is increasing, so it’s our role to ensure consistent standards for consumers and a level playing field for businesses and practitioners. ”

The government consultation couldn’t come sooner as Save Face – a government approved register of accredited practitioners – received almost 3,000 complaints about cosmetic procedures in 2022, with over two-thirds relating to dermal fillers and almost a quarter to Botox.

It also follows the government’s recent law, which made it illegal to administer such treatments to under 18 year-olds and banning all adverts on the matter which target under 18s.

Last year when news about possible new regulations first aired, Laura Trott, the MP who successfully submitted the bill to make it illegal to administer non-surgical cosmetic procedures to under 18-year-olds in 2021, told GLAMOUR: “I am absolutely delighted to hear that the Government has listened to our calls for regulation in this space.

«My Private Members Bill stopped under 18s from receiving such treatments for cosmetic reasons, but further action was needed. While people should have the right to choose what to do to their own bodies, it is vital that a regulatory framework protects consumers, and particularly those most vulnerable to social media targeting, to allow them to make informed and safe choices.

“These dangerous non-medical procedures can ruin lives and unscrupulous providers must be removed from the sector so that both practitioners and customers can feel safe and supported. ”

Advanced facial aesthetics doctor Dr Ahmed El Muntasar, known as @theaestheticsdoctor on Instagram, also welcomes the news about proposed regulation. He told GLAMOUR: «I think this will be amazing for patient safety and protecting vulnerable patients from rogue injectors – and people that have not got the medical training to be able to inject – but more importantly it’s about dealing with the complications and this is where medical training comes in.

“It is so important to ensure anyone administering Botox or fillers has the knowledge and expertise to do so. You have to ask yourself, what if you block a blood vessel, what if you jeopardise the blood supply to someone’s eye, what can you do then? This is where your medical training comes in to be able to deal with the pressure, you know how to manage the complication so it’s very much step one. Actually protecting our patients from these back-alley clinics and cowboy injectors is essential. I very much agree with [the new regulations] and feel it is an important step forward. ”

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