A significant increase in the number of unregistered cosmetic laser clinics being investigated in Wales has been reported, highlighting the need for a similar system in England.
Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) has visited 24 premises since April 2015 after reports they were dodging registration and is currently investigating a further 37. In 2014/15, it followed up just 10 reports of unregistered premises.
Unlike in England, clinics in Wales need to register with the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW). Registration costs around £500 a year and involves inspection both of the premises and the equipment.
The Welsh government has indicated more regulation may be given in the future, something which the HIW would welcome. Healthcare Inspectorate Wales wants the government to look at the risks of mobile laser services, botox and dermal fillers and the current checks do not include any review of the practitioner’s training or skill
Alun Jones, director of inspection, regulation and investigations for HIW, said
“We’ve become aware of more services which aren’t registered and that’s a criminal offence which can lead to a fine.
“They sometimes dodge the regulation, don’t want to pay the fee, don’t want the scrutiny, but sometimes they’re naïve and don’t realise what’s required of them under the regulations.”
HIW also wants a national register of non-surgical cosmetic practitioners.
Regulation in England
At present, there is no similar system of registration for cosmetic and laser clinics and salons in England, despite a plethora of investigations, reports and recommendations – most notably the Keogh report in 2013.
Patients are surprised at how little protection there is for these medical treatments.
Until the law changes and regulation comes in, our advice is as follows:
- Choose a reputable clinic
- Check your practitioner has qualifications and experience
- Don’t be afraid NOT to go ahead, despite any pressure
- Don’t rely on medical qualifications and an artistic flair – seek proper cosmetic treatments training
- Never allow a patient to persuade you to do something you’re not sure about (e.g. young patients, heavy use of filler, medical concerns)
- Keep abreast of the developments with regard to regulation and don’t make the mistake of our Welsh colleagues, who tried to save any money by not registering
Non-Surgical Treatment News
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Dr Tim Pearce, MBChB BSc (hons) MRCGP