Proposed Welsh register for needle-based treatments meets mixed response

Salons in Wales that perform needle-based treatments such as semi-permanent make-up and electrolysis could soon be required to join a mandatory register in order to practice legally.

While the UK Government was recently criticised for not enforcing a compulsory register of dermal filler practitioners following the recent Keogh review, the Welsh Government has now outlined plans to get tougher.

A National Special Procedures Register was proposed in a Public Health White Paper published in April, which said practitioners and businesses would need to meet and maintain specified standards of hygiene and safety, to carry out standardised pre and post treatment consultations, and to keep client records.

The register would initially cover five core areas: cosmetic piercing; tattooing; semi-permanent make-up; acupuncture and electrolysis. Practitioners and businesses would be charged a fee to register.

Currently in Wales, local authorities are responsible for the regulation of businesses carrying out these procedures. However, concerns have been raised that some do not monitor it closely, and those that do are limited to checking health and safety, rather than the skills of individual practitioners.

The proposals have been met with mixed response by the industry.

Cathy Brown, head medical trainer at micropigmentation company Nouveau Contours said a register was “very much needed” because micropigmentation can sometimes fall into a grey area.

“Currently, you are relying on technicians to register themselves and their premises, which doesn’t always happen,” she added.

However, Elaine Stoddart, director of education for Sterex Electrolysis International, said the work of the proposed register was already carried out by the environmental health officers, adding, “so it would appear, on the face of it, a stealth tax.”

“With electrolysis, post consult is not always a necessary undertaking and would have serious cost implications,” she said.

The Government is now inviting feedback on the proposed national register before June 24. Both the White Paper and the consultation response form can be found on its website.