Nurses and other practitioners providing non-surgical cosmetic interventions, such as Botox, are to be regulated in Scotland from next year, ministers have announced.
The Scottish Government said regulation of private clinics carrying out non-surgical cosmetic interventions, dental and other healthcare services, will begin in April 2016.
“Many people are not aware that there is no regulation of independent clinics who provide non-surgical cosmetics procedures”
Ministers said legislation would be started so the body Healthcare Improvement Scotland could begin regulating private clinics that offered services provided by nurses, midwives, doctors, dentists and dental care professionals.
Currently, there is no regulation for the non-surgical cosmetic industry in the UK – meaning Scotland will become the first with such tight controls on health professionals that offer these kinds of treatments.
The announcement follows recommendations made today by the Scottish Cosmetic Interventions Expert Group, which was set up by ministers in January 2014 to look at ways to regulate the cosmetic industry.
Other recommendations made by the group include that professionals must keep up to date with latest training, all providers must have sufficient insurance and a transparent complaints systems must be in place.
Cosmetic practitioners should have a duty to report breaches of advertising guidelines to the Advertising Standards Authority, the report recommended.
Non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as Botox, teeth whitening, laser eye surgery and dermal fillers have become more popular in recent years.
The moves announced today also coincide with new research – Cosmetic Interventions: Survey of Scottish Population – showing that only 23% of Scots have a fair amount of confidence in non-surgical cosmetic procedures.
The You Gov research, commissioned by the Scottish Government, found 4% of Scottish adults have had a cosmetic procedure and 16% have considered doing so.
Maureen Watt, Scottish minister for public health, said: “Cosmetic procedures, both surgical and non-surgical, have increased massively in popularity over the last few years.
“As this research shows, many people are not aware that there is no regulation of independent clinics who provide non-surgical cosmetics procedures,” she said.
Sharon Bennett, chair of the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses, said she “fully supported” the moves to develop frameworks and standards for the delivery of non-surgical cosmetic procedures.
“We believe that patient safety should be at the centre of any proposals agreed, and that patients are assured at all times of the best medical care that is available from medical professionals who are accountable to their own governing councils,” she said.
Sally Taber is a nurse and director of cosmetic quality assurance under Treatments you can Trust – a voluntary quality assurance scheme for cosmetic injectable providers, which has been in operation since 2010.
“On behalf of our registrants, many of whom are practising in Scotland, I welcome the Scottish Cosmetic Interventions Expert Group report,” she said.
Cosmetic procedures that require surgery have been regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland since 2011.
The General Medical Council is running its own consultation on draft guidance on standards for doctors offering cosmetic interventions.