Regulation for Scottish aesthetic clinics comes into force today
New Scottish Government legislation comes into force today (April 1), requiring clinics that offer non-surgical cosmetics procedures to be registered and inspected
Clinics offering botulinum toxin, dermal fillers and laser eye surgery have to register with NHS watchdog Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) as of this month.
Then from April 2017 they will be inspected and subject to potential recommendations or enforcement action. Unregistered practitioners such as beauty therapists and hairdressers will not be regulated until later years.
“The focus of regulation will be on ensuring safe, effective and high quality care for users of independent clinics across Scotland. Where appropriate, regulation and inspection will be used to drive up the standard of care in Scotland to the benefit of patients and the public,” said a HIS spokesperson.
The new law comes at a time when the safety and care of patients undergoing procedures like teeth whitening and fillers have been in the spotlight, with several stories about botch jobs and cosmetic cowboys operating within the industry. Save Face, an aesthetic practitioner register, which represent doctors, dentists and nurses in the industry, has spoken out about the new legislation, saying its members would have to increase their prices as a result of the extra checks while unregistered practitioners – who pose the greatest risk – would be able to continue working at a lower cost.
Ashton Collins, the company’s director, said: “It will leave the public prey to a two-tier system: good practice by well-qualified professionals on one level, which will almost certainly cost the consumer more. On another level, a cut-price, budget approach provided by untrained practitioners with little consideration of risk or redress if complications arise."
However, the legislation has been welcomed by other industry bodies including the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN). Jackie Partridge, who sits on the HIS board as a representative from BACN, commented: “There are many reputable clinics and practitioners in Scotland but, like any sector or industry, there exist some who do not maintain the highest of standards.
“While it is the case that private clinics who have nurses or doctors are already tightly regulated by their own governing bodies, the new regulation regime will provide people looking for treatments in these clinics with unprecedented levels of confidence and reassurance.”