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Doctor who misled nurses over Botox prescriptions suspended


A doctor who encouraged nurses to ignore General Medical Council rules about remotely prescribing drugs such as Botox has been suspended for up to 18 months pending a review.

Harley Street doctor Dr Mark Harrison was exposed by a BBC London investigation telling nurses how Botox prescriptions could be acquired in one person’s name for use on someone else, despite this practise being banned.

Doctors are forbidden, under GMC rules, from prescribing injectable cosmetic medicines, over the phone, fax or online without a face-to-face consultation with a patient. But Dr Harrison was secretly recorded telling nurses to obtain Botox in other peoples’ names for use on walk-in patients.

The GMC will decide whether he will face a fitness to practise panel.

Dr Harrison said in a statement that the practise of using one person’s name for the treatment of others was “common almost universal practice throughout the aesthetics industry” and had “no consequence for patient safety”.


Readers' comments (4)

  • "Dr Harrison said in a statement that the practise ... had “no consequence for patient safety”."

    In other words, he thinks he knows best, so he can with impunity ignore GMC rules, because they don't apply to people who know best. What's more, he lied to nurses and therefore also deliberately misled patients. He is not fit to be called a doctor.

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  • If a nurse prescriber did this then they would most certainly lose their prescribing liscence as well as be reported to the NMC for breaching their code of conduct.
    Rules are their to be adhered for a reason.
    The nurses who were following this Doctors instructions are also putting their own registration at risk as they also should be practicing within the guidlelines for administrating a medicine or drug. Clearly using another persons name to administer a drug such as botox is contravening medicines administration NMC guidelines , which A RGN falls under, even if working in the aesthetics industry

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  • I agree, the nurses who carried out his intructions are accountable for their actions, whether or not they are prescribers. We all need to be prepared to stand up for correct practice and question the practice of others if it concerns us. I very often see junior doctors and registrars carrying out instructions from their Consultants which they know to be less than best practice and not in the interests of the patients. They feel thay have no choice if they are to receive a good report. Possibly these nurses worried about losing their jobs if they questioned the doctor. Heirarchy and status play a large part. What's the answer? Teamwork and respect surely!

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  • I could care less about this "doctor" whom I hope will have to answer to the GMC

    I do care , however, about the "nurses" who provide yet more evidence of the bad practise which exists within the profession.

    If these "nurses" believed that it was acceptable to administer medication prescribed in one patients name to a third party they were, at best, ignorant of their obligations under the NMC's Code of Conduct. More likely they did not care and did not have the intelligence or courage to challenge a VERY questionable instruction.

    (I would also love to hear them explain to me the detailed anatomy of the structures into which they happily inject illegally obtained medication!)

    Bad practise wherever it occurs must be exposed and never tolerated.

    The nurses involved in this case should be subject by the NMC to "conditions" which limit their practise until such time as they can provide evidence to the effect that they are safe, competent practitioners who understand the standards required by the NMC's Code of Conduct. It is unlikely that such evidence will be acquired from within the "aesthetics industry”

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