New guidance has been published by the General Medical Council (GMC) in an attempt to make cosmetic procedures safer.

It comes after NHS England’s medical director reported on the risks of the cosmetic sector in 2013. The report followed in the wake of the PIP breast implant scandal, in which nearly 50,000 women in the UK were fitted with implants made from unauthorised silicone filler.

Now the GMC has defined the standards expected of clinicians in the UK who perform cosmetic procedures. This relates to both surgical and non-surgical procedures, including botox and dermal fillers.

Amongst other things, the guidance aims to protect vulnerable patients who are psychologically unsuitable for cosmetic procedures.

It states doctors must:

  • Be open and honest with patients and not trivialise the risks associated with the procedure
  • Give patients a ‘cooling off’ period before they decide whether to proceed with the procedure
  • Not target people under the age of 18 through marketing
  • Get consent from the patient rather than delegate it
  • Not give procedures away as prizes
  • Give realistic advice about the results that can be achieved
  • Focus on how a cosmetic procedure has changed a patient physically and psychologically

Chairman of the GMC Professor Terence Stephenson said: “We are clear that doctors must not pressure patients to make rushed decisions they may end up regretting and they must give them enough information so they can make an informed decision.”

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPs) has said it welcomes the guidance and is hoping to develop a screening tool to identify those patients who are unsuitable for surgery.

Medical negligence advice

If you have suffered injuries as a result of medical negligence, please get in touch with us today.

Share Article With:

delicious digg facebook reddit twitter stumble upon