The change has occurred as a direct result of a recent review carried out by Sir Bruce Keogh, the National Medical Director of the NHS Commissioning Board. In this report he focused on the standards that are being upheld in the cosmetic surgery industry, where he evaluated the risks associated with cosmetic treatments. He spoke about the vulnerability of patients when exposed to aggressive or misleading sales tactics, as well as a lack of care after the procedure has taken place.
The new regulations will be coming into place as of June, and will apply to all cosmetic treatments including invasive procedures such as facelifts and breast augmentation, through to less invasive treatments such as Botox and Dermal Fillers. If doctors or surgeons are found in violation of these new regulations, they could face being struck of the medical register. The following changes have been made to the way in which they practice:
Cosmetic surgery clinics refrained from using any aggressive marketing tactics to encourage patients to have surgery, or from rushing them into having any procedure. All marketing must now be responsibly presented, and completely factual. It also banishes using any promotional offers or language, such as “2 for 1” deals.
More Accountability for the Surgeon
Surgeons are also required to explain the procedure, along with any risks or complications, rather than passing it on to someone else, usually a sales person, to do on their behalf. In a lot of cases, patients would only meet their surgeon just before going under the knife, being dealt with by a sales person, or coordinator, up until that point. It is also the doctor or surgeon’s responsibility to make sure the patient is fully informed of what to do if something goes wrong, including who to call in an emergency and what signs they should look out for. This should go someway to preventing patients from making ill-informed decisions on surgery, or choosing not to have the surgery if they feel that the risks are too high. Also, consent can now only be gained from the surgeon, or doctor performing the procedures.
Time for Reflection
Following their initial consultation period, patients must be given a reasonable amount of time to reflect on their options. This will allow them to take a sufficient amount of time to process the information that they have been given about the procedure, including all of the risks and potential complications. In this time, patients can’t be rushed into making a decision about whether or not to go ahead, by the clinic.
It has been said in the report that the majority of doctors who perform cosmetic surgery procedures do so to a high standard, however there has been poor practice seen, therefore making it important to protect those patients at risk.
It is hoped by many that these new guidelines and regulations will encourage a higher standard of care in cosmetic surgery industry, putting an end to cosmetic surgery negligence, or procedures going wrong.