Lord Hunt announced that the UK Department of Health has asked the cosmetic surgery industry to work on improving safety in the cosmetic use of botulinum toxin and dermal fillers.
The Independent Healthcare Advisory Services (IHAS), which count many of the major cosmetic surgery providers as members, have accepted the Government’s invitation to take the lead in setting up a self-regulatory scheme.
The IHAS will now begin to draw up proposals for a self-regulatory scheme covering cosmetic treatments including the botulinum toxnion and dermal fillers.
Health Minister Lord Hunt said
“Cosmetic surgery providers have shown real commitment to improving levels of quality and safety in this area and so I have decided to ask the industry to take the lead in further improving standards. I am very pleased that they have accepted this challenge.”
Lord Hunt also announced that a review to examine levels of quality and safety would be undertaken once the self-regulatory scheme had been established and in place for a reasonable period, ensuring that measures put in place are working well.
“While I have every confidence that self regulation is the best way forward for non-surgical cosmetic treatments at this moment in time, we do not completely rule out the introduction of statutory regulation should it become necessary in the future.”
Sally Taber of the Independent Healthcare Advisory Services said: “We are prepared to take the lead in setting up a self-regulatory scheme and look forward to working with other key stakeholders and in particular patient and consumer organisations. Despite our belief that statutory regulation is the right way forward, IHAS has assured Lord Hunt that the Working Group under the Chairmanship of Dr Andrew Vallance- Owen is prepared to drive the initiative to ensure improved patient safety and ethical practices / behaviour in this expanding market.”
The Government considered statutory regulation of this sector in response to the recommendations of the Expert Group on Cosmetic Surgery, however the Department of Health worked closely with the cosmetic surgery industry over the past 18 months to determine the form of regulation that would provide the best approach for both treatment providers and their patients.
Although the Department does not collect figures on the number of these treatments, commentators believe that the numbers of treatments performed are rising.