Lord Sugar could influence regulation following The Apprentice

Lord Alan Sugar called for regulation of the medical aesthetics industry last night as he outlined plans to open a chain of clinics with The Apprentice winner Dr Leah Totton.

Speaking on the BBC show, Sugar said: “This industry needs to be regulated – it clearly needs to be regulated,” adding, “I’ve been in various industries over the years which were unregulated and when I was a younger person I was kind of annoyed when Government departments started to poke their nose in and regulate them but when I look back I realise it was the correct thing to do.”

Other aesthetic doctors have since speculated that Sugar’s seat in the House of Lords could help influence and accelerate the regulation currently being discussed as a result of the Government’s Keogh review, which recommended, among other things, a standardised qualification for injectables.

Revamp Clinics tweeted: “Got ?@Lord_Sugar on our side get the Cosmetic Surgery Act back in parliament and into the House of Lords and may finally get this sorted.”

Totton, who was announced as the winner of BBC’s The Apprentice last night, outlined a business plan to open a chain of aesthetic clinics specialising in injectables and skin peels.

The first treatment centre and a corresponding skincare brand, both called Dr Leah, are slated to launch before the end of the year.

Totton also claimed she was committed to regulation, adding: “I see my role in this industry as a medical influence…I feel it’s what the industry really needs and I’m really trying to bring regulation to the industry and ensure these treatments, which in my opinion are medical treatments, are carried out in a clinical environment by properly trained healthcare practitioners.”

Lord Sugar, who has invested £250,000 to start up the business admitted the medical aesthetics market was “completely alien to me”, but added: “This is an interesting industry; one in which business margins are very good.”

However, the plan has been widely criticised by aesthetic doctors and cosmetic surgeons.

Speaking on the show, Dr Tracey Mountford, medical director of The Cosmetic Skin Clinic in Buckinghamshire, winner of Professional Beauty’s Medical Aesthetic Clinic of the Year Award in 2012 said: “It’s a hugely competitive market. She’s got to stand head and shoulders above the competition.”

Other doctors expressed concern at 24-year-old Totton’s lack of experience. Nigel Mercer, former chairman of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons told the Dail Mail: “At her level of training, she will have a basic knowledge of immunology and some knowledge of anatomy. She may have done a few weeks’ training in aesthetic medicine, but that is simply not enough.”

Image: copyright BBC