Government to launch campaign to tackle botched injectables

The Department of Health has confirmed it will launch a campaign to tackle poorly administered cosmetic procedures such as botulinum toxin and filler in the coming weeks.

Representatives from the Department of Health told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme this morning that the campaign was also, in part, due to the growing number of people going overseas for surgery. 

Derbyshire said the campaign will try to tackle the number of procedures that go wrong, the impact on mental health, plus the cost to the NHS of fixing problems.  

The dangers of self-administered filler kits, sold online, were also highlighted. 

The programme also revealed the results of a poll that showed almost half of people now think having a cosmetic procedure is just like having a haircut, while a similar number (45%) think it is too easy to get cosmetic procedures in Britain. 

The BBC’s online poll of 1,000 women aged 18-30 also showed that 66% of women aged 18-30 have either had or would consider getting a cosmetic procedure, with botox and lip fillers the most popular. 

83% said they would change something about their appearance if money and health were not a concern. Of those, six out of 10 would change their stomach, over half their breasts, four out of 10 their bum, and 15% would change their vagina.  

Of those who have had a procedure, 77% were happy with how it went but only 52% said they felt more attractive. 

Speaking on the programme, cosmetic doctor Dr Shirin Lakhani said anecdotally that she’s seen a big increase in 16 year olds being brought in for lip fillers by their mums. 

Drs Nick Lowe and Tijan Esho also appeared on the programme calling for dermal fillers to become a prescription-only medicine like botulinum toxin is. 

Separately, the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners(JCCP) Executive Committee today invited the industry to back a new petition that is currently being reveiwed to make fillers prescription only, meaning that, like Botox, the products used in dermal fillers could only be prescribed by medics and would no longer be able to be recommended directly by beauty therapists.

While many believe that beauty therapists should be entirely excluded from performing most advanced aesthetic procedures, the Department of Health & Social Care did also indicate support for creating pathways for therapists to work in aesthetics during a meeting in March. 

The Government also recently approved new National Occupational Standards for Aesthetic Treatments, marking another step towards improving consumer safety and recognising responsible practitioners from all backgrounds.