The provision of injectable cosmetic treatments, including dermal fillers and botulinum toxin, is to be controlled for the first time with the imminent launch of new rules in the form of a Government backed registration scheme.
This registration, certification and inspection scheme has been developed by the injectable cosmetics industry with the encouragement of Ministers to safeguard patients from treatments carried about by unqualified rogue practitioners. The Independent Healthcare Advisory Services (IHAS) will be running the industry-led shared regulation scheme.
There are currently an estimated 5,000 facilities carrying out an estimated 200,000 treatments a year in the UK. As treatments are elective, until now, providers of injectable cosmetic treatments have fallen outside the scope of watchdogs at the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Says Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen, Chair of IHAS Shared Regulation Group, “This is excellent news for consumers and properly qualified practitioners. With growth of an estimated 25% of treatments carried out last year alone, the industry and the Department of Health recognised the need to safeguard patients by creating a system of registration and certification to reduce the risk of poor-practice within the sector.”
Health Minister Mike O’Brien said:“Quality marking the organisations that provide injectable cosmetic treatments, such as Botox® and wrinkle fillers, will help protect the public from unscrupulous operators. It will clearly mark those who uphold the highest standards the industry can provide. This is why I have given my support and government funding to help set up the scheme. It will enable people who choose to have these treatments to be better informed of the risks and choices available to them.”
Organisations and practitioners will be able to apply for registration through the website, with self assessment documents and supporting evidence submissions required. Applications for certification and registration will be reviewed by a team of experts, who will also run inspections by conducting site visits randomly selected, with only 24 hours’ prior notice to providers. The scheme will be administered by CHKS on behalf of IHAS.
Industry leaders such as The Harley Medical Group which has 27 clinics, Transform which has 24 clinics and Sk:n. which has 34 clinics, have already indicated their commitment to registering their clinics once the scheme goes live in the next month.