Licensing scheme for aesthetics to become law
An Act of Parliament which will give the Government power to introduce a national licensing scheme for aesthetics has been given Royal Assent, meaning it will be enacted into law in England.
Included in the Health and Care Bill was an amendment that said that a mandated licensing regime should be put in place for the more invasive cosmetic treatments.
The amendment also makes it an offence for someone to practise invasive cosmetic treatments without a licence and to practise from unlicensed premises.
Now the that the bill has been passed, the scope and details will be determined after a public consultation, but it is expected that this will make it mandatory to hold a licence in order to legally administer injectable treatments including Botox or fillers.
The licensing scheme will introduce consistent standards that individuals carrying out certain non-surgical cosmetic procedures will have to meet, as well as hygiene and safety standards for premises.
The Government has described the amendment as “the next step on the road to effective regulation of non-surgical cosmetic procedures (and hair restoration surgery) in England”.
There have been steps towards more regulation of aesthetics in recent years, including the banning of botulinum toxin and dermal fillers for under 18s.
An amendment to introduce the licensing scheme was called for by numerous groups within the industry, including the National Hair and Beauty Foundation (NHBF).
The new licensing regime will largely follow the Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners' 10-point plan of action for licensing, which said there should be:
- Statutory regulation to ensure that only practitioners who meet the required standards for safe and effective practice can practise legally
- National, mandatory education and training standards for all practitioners in these fields
- Clear, transparent information from service providers on risks, benefits, costs, qualifications, and insurance
- A clear, legal definition of what constitutes a ‘medical’ procedure, a ‘medically-related’ service and a ‘cosmetic’ treatment
- Robust standards and regulations for the safe, ethical and professional prescribing of medications and preparations
- Tighter controls on advertising and social media posts to prevent the promotion of unsafe, unethical and exaggerated messaging about products, education, training and service provision
- A nationally agreed process for the reporting and analysis of complications and adverse incidents
- A legal requirement that all cosmetic non-surgical and hair restoration surgical practitioners should hold an appropriate level of medical indemnity insurance to provide a proper redress scheme for service users
- Nationally agreed standards for the licensing and regulation of premises and treatment procedures
- A campaign to raise public awareness of the benefits and risks associated with non-surgical treatments and hair restoration surgery.
Professor David Sines, executive chair and registrar of the JCCP, commented, “The UK Government’s decision to introduce a licensing scheme to regulate the administration of the more invasive aesthetic treatments is a welcome contribution to enhancing public protection and patient safety.
“The JCCP and the CPSA are prepared and mobilised to support and contribute to the development of standards for both practice and education and training in support of the new licensing scheme.
“In our opinion, nothing less than joined-up governance and the closure of loopholes within the current regulatory landscape will be acceptable if we are to truly seek to serve and protect members of the public from unwarranted variation with regard to the standards and quality of service and they should expect from aesthetic practitioners within the United Kingdom."
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