Tough new standards for doctors carrying out cosmetic procedures
01 June 2016
Doctors who carry out cosmetic procedures anywhere in the UK have been issued with new guidance by the General Medical Council (GMC) to make sure they provide the best possible care for patients.
The guidance has been produced following a review of the cosmetic industry in England by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh. His report highlighted the risks associated with cosmetic interventions and how patients needed greater protection.
Professor Terence Stephenson, Chair of the GMC, said:
‘Cosmetic interventions should not be entered into lightly or without serious considerations. Above all, patients considering whether to have such a procedure need honest and straightforward advice which allows them to understand the risks as well as the possible benefits.
‘It is a challenging area of medicine which deals with patients who can be extremely vulnerable. Most doctors who practise in this area do so to a high standard but we do sometimes come across poor practice, and it is important that patients are protected from this and that doctors understand what is expected from them.
‘Our new guidance is designed to help drive up standards in the cosmetic industry and make sure all patients, and especially those who are most vulnerable, are given the care, treatment and support they need.’
The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS), is also publishing its own set of professional standards, specifically for cosmetic surgery, which will supplement the GMC’s guidance.
Stephen Cannon, Vice President of the RCS and Chair of the Cosmetic Surgery Interspecialty Committee, said:
‘Our professional standards for cosmetic surgery, coupled with the GMC’s new guidance, will raise the bar and make absolutely clear what we expect of all surgeons working in the private sector.
‘The message to surgeons and doctors working in the cosmetic surgery industry is simple: if you are not working to the surgical standards we have set out today, you should not be treating patients at all. We, and regulators including the GMC, will do everything in our powers to protect patients and to stop unscrupulous individuals from practising.’
Full details of the GMC’s new guidance for doctors carrying out cosmetic procedures and the RCS standards is available here.