Regulation of backstreet clinics shelved

The government is believed to have abandoned plans to require non-surgical cosmetic clinics to be officially licensed.

Around 3,000 unregistered clinics exist in the UK, offering laser treatments to remove facial hair and skin blemishes, while a further 3,000 are believed to offer anti-wrinkle skin fillers and botox injections.

The Healthcare Commission receives around 50 complaints every year from people who have suffered irreparable damage due to incorrect administration and poor safety procedures, and a working party warned two years ago that such clinics needed to be licensed.

However, the Independent reports that no such measure will be included in an overhaul of medical regulations due to be published this week, with ministers expected to argue that minor procedures, such as botox injections, should be subject to self-regulation.

James Partridge, chief executive of support group Changing Faces and a member of the Department of Health's cosmetic surgery steering group, told the Independent that he would be "very disappointed" if ministers dropped the proposed regulations.

However, a DoH spokesperson said that the department was "still considering the form of regulation that would provide the best approach for both treatment providers and their patients".

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Regulation of backstreet clinics shelved
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