Cosmetic nurses, doctors and other practitioners in England are to be overseen by a new body designed to drive up standards in non-surgical aesthetic treatments, such as Botox.
It follows concerns about patient safety in this area of practice due to a lack of accountability and clear training requirements.
The Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners will be set up in partnership by the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses and the British College of Aesthetic Medicine.
“The case for the establishment of an industry-led oversight body for the cosmetic medicine sector focussing on delivering patient safety has been overwhelming”
It comes in response to a review, led by NHS England’s medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, that looked into regulation of the sector following the PIP breast implant scandal and published its findings in 2013.
Sir Bruce noted that non-surgical procedures in the UK – such as Botox and dermal fillers – accounted for around 75% of the market value of the cosmetic intervention industry, but were “almost entirely unregulated”.
In light of recommendations from the review, national training body Health Education England has now issued qualification requirements for a number of non-surgical cosmetic interventions such as Botox, chemical peals and laser hair removal, plus hair restoration surgery.
In a report published last week, HEE said there had been “overwhelming support” from respondents to its consultation for a new body to be set up to oversee accreditation of the required qualifications.
“Both the Department of Health and HEE would like to support this idea in principle… for it to be credible it would need to have widespread support from stakeholders”
Commenting on the creation of the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners, HEE said both itself and the Department of Health were encouraged by the announcement.
An HEE statement said: “The stakeholder consultation facilitated by HEE, following the publication of Bruce Keogh’s report, raised the possibility of such a body being established.
“Both the Department of Health and HEE would like to support this idea in principle, recognising that for it to be credible it would need to have widespread support from stakeholders, including the wide range of practitioners involved in delivering non-surgical treatments.”
Over the next 12 months, the development of the joint council will be led by interim chair Professor David Sines, a retired nursing academic who was also involved in the HEE’s consultation work.
“I am delighted to be offered the role of interim chair of the new Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners. Over the next 12 months I will endeavour to engage with all parts of the industry to deliver a financially stable and effective body with a clear remit and credibility,” said Professor Sines.
Professor David Sines
Sharon Bennett, chair of the BACN, said: “The case for the establishment of an industry led oversight body for the cosmetic medicine sector, focussing on delivering patient safety, has been overwhelming.
“The BACN and BCAM felt there was no time to waste once the HEE published its final report and by coming together with a clear plan for its establishment we can demonstrate that we have patient needs and safety at the forefront of our thinking,” she said.
Paul Charlson, president of BCAM, added: “The support of the Department of Health in this area has been fundamental in order to give this initiative credibility. It can only work with the full support of all parties and we will be as inclusive as we can in order to achieve an outcome that will be credible and workable.”