Government review could affect laws on injectables and peels

A major review into cosmetic surgery and aesthetic procedures including botox, dermal fillers, laser hair removal, and skin peels, has been officially launched today (August 15) by the Department of Health.

The government review, led by Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the NHS, and health secretary Andrew Lansley, promises to scrutinise the cosmetic surgery and non-surgical aesthetics industries, which could potentially change the law on who can perform which treatments. For example, concern has been raised about beauty therapists performing treatments such as peels and laser treatments.
 
Keogh has recommended stricter rules in key areas including anti-ageing dermal fillers, which he said require only basic safety checks. 
 
The clean up of the cosmetic surgery industry follows the problems women experienced with PIP breast implants earlier this year. 
 
Keogh has called together a review committee to help advise him in making recommendations to the Government by next March on how it can better protect people who choose to have surgery or cosmetic procedures. 
 
The members of this expert panel are:
 
Andrew Vallance-Owen, former medical director of BUPA
Catherine Kydd, campaigner on PiP implants
Professor Sir Ian Kennedy, emeritus professor of health law, ethics and policy at University College London
Trish Halpin, editor of Marie Claire magazine
Dr Rosemary Leonard, GP and media doctor
Professor Shirley Pearce, clinical psychologist and former vice chancellor of Loughborough University
Simon Withey, plastic surgeon
Vivienne Parry, writer and broadcaster
 
The call for evidence, will ask people’s views on:
 
The regulation and safety of products used in cosmetic interventions
How to best ensure that the people who carry out the procedures have the necessary skills and qualifications
How to ensure that organisations have systems in place to look after their patients both during their treatment and afterwards
How to ensure that people considering cosmetic surgery and procedures are given the information, advice and time for reflection to make an informed choice
What improvements are needed in dealing with complaints so they are listened to and acted upon.
 
Keogh said: “I’m concerned that too many people do not realise how serious cosmetic surgery is…we want to hear views from everyone, particularly people who have experience of the cosmetic surgery industry or of other cosmetic interventions – good and bad – so we can learn what works best."
 
Nobody representing the nursing or beauty therapy industries has been invited to participate in the expert panel advising the government. However, the findings and any consequent changes in law are likely to affect the scope of practice of both professions.
 
We want to hear your views. Should beauty therapists get a voice in a review that affects who can do salon-staple treatments such as laser hair removal and peels? Leave your comments below.