It looks like the dodgy cosmetic practices in the UK could be drinking in the Last Chance Saloon, if new British laws come into effect.
The Department of Health have proposed an expansion to the ratings system that the NHS uses for hospitals, with the aim of giving the general public a rough guide to the quality of cosmetic surgeons in their area.
This proposal has already been cautiously welcomed by industry authorities – although some would like them to clamp down even harder.
“We welcome – and indeed, have been calling for during the last decade – as much government scrutiny as is possible of the cosmetic sector,” said Douglas McGeorge, the former president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.
“This is an arena where regulation has historically been lax and many practitioners can engage in procedures they are not trained or even qualified to perform.”
Grading the clinics, not the surgeons
The new system will be applied to up to 100 cosmetic surgery clinics, which will be given ratings that will offer a bare-bones guide.
There will be four ratings: outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate. However, it must be borne in mind that the ratings will only apply to the facilities on offer at the clinic in question, and not the surgeons who are based there.
Help us to help you
While this is a start, the usual rules will still apply: before you put your trust (and money) in the hands of an aesthetic practitioner, the onus is on you to ensure you get the best treatment possible.
Here at Dr Joney De Souza Aesthetic Clinic in Mayfair, we’ve come up with a few things you can do to make sure you’re in safe hands:
Talk to your GP about your plans, and see if they can put you in the right direction.
Ensure, at the very least, that the surgeon in question is registered with the General Medical Council.
Gather as much information as you can about the treatment you’re after, and don’t be afraid to contact clinics in your area and ask them questions.