The first phase of consultations into the aesthetics industry has passed and it will be several years before the proposed changes to make the industry safer come to pass. In the mean time there are some things you as an individual can do to keep safe if choosing to get aesthetic treatments.
Im not going to labour or discuss the medic versus non medic debate as I thing as a health care professional its clear which side of the debate I’m on. However here are the main differences as I see them.
|Medically Qualified (Doctors, Nurses, Dentist and prescribing pharmacists)||Non medically qualified (Beauty therapists, aesthetic practitioners, hairdressers ect. )|
|Minimum 3 years university study in one of the above specialties||Can begin injecting botox, fillers, steroids, fat dissolving agents ect after a 1 day course with no supervision|
|Registered with a professional body who they are accountable too||Not registered or accountable to any governing body or professional organisation|
|Must have medical malpractice insurance.||No mandatory requirement to have insurance|
|Mandatory ongoing professional education with a minimum qualification||No mandatory requirement|
|Manatory practices which endure patient safety||No minimum standards required|
|Experience dealing with infection control measures||No clinical experience|
|Answerable for complication||No requirement|
|In scotland must be registered with Health Care Improvement scotland||No requirement|
|Only use medical grade products form traceable suppliers||Can order products from anywhere.|
|Professional training courses must meet minimum competency requirements||Anyone, even someone with only a few days experience can set up a training academy with no minimum standards.|
|Patients must have a face to face health assessment and consultation prior to botox which must be prescribed for them||No requirement to offer assessment, often treated with illegal botox products as they cannot get prescribing health professional to prescribe for them due to the risks associated with non health care professional|
|Refuse aesthetic treatments to under 18s ( this is illegal)||Some still treating under 18s even though they know the law is being broken.|
There are unfortunately some unscrupulous practitioners who like to manipulate the public into thinking they are health professionals when they are not. Terms such as nurse, medical consultant, clinic ect, are all regularly used by non medics who would like to convict you they are something they are not so beware: here are a few ways you can check if someone is who they are claiming to be:
Nurses, doctors and dentists all need to be registered with a governing body, you can check this by looking up the name of the person claiming to be a health professional on these websites
If they have been trained outside the UK they can only practice medicine in the UK if they are registered with their regulatory bogy.
If they have been trained outside the UK they can only practice medicine in the UK if they are registered with their regulatory body so even Doctors offering clinics in the UK have to practice with in this set of rules.
An additional check you can make in Scotland is to check they are registered with Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) anyone claiming to be a nurse, Dr or dentist not registered with HIS is breaking the law so should not be considered a safe practitioner. If they are willing to break the law they are likely to be willing to cut corners and increase the risks associate with any treatments!
This is the link to check HIS registered clinics and practitioners
Additional steps would include registering with a government approved regulatory body, we chose to register with Save Face and to be part of the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses.
Finally if the practitioner is very experienced they may also be on practitioner assessed website such as the Tweakment guide.
There are many who think this is a witch hunt against non medical but to be blunt its not. The simple truth is we see complications regularly in the clinic and the majority are as a result of non medically qualified practitioners. In addition the alarming figures released recently confirmed that 80% of non medical do not have any insurance!
I personally know many experienced and safe non medically qualified practitioners are equally concerned about the lack of regulations and are very keen that the industry is cleaned up. This will reassure the public who chose to get procedures outside a medical lead clinic environment that they will be treated safely and with respect.
If you do choose to be treated with a practitioner out side the medical professional group the minimum checks you should do is check which products are being injected and if they have valid insurance for that product.
We wish all who choose to get aesthetic treatments happy and safe outcomes.