Botox parties’ or ‘filler parties’ – where friends meet to receive cosmetic treatments at home – were ‘entirely at odds’ with new professional standards for cosmetic practice published today. The Royal College of Surgeons argued that only surgeons should provide cosmetic surgery and only doctors, dentists and nurses handle non-surgical cosmetic treatments. At the moment many treatments can be administered by anyone and there is no requirement for medical training.
The RCS guidance recommends practitioners should discuss psychological issues with the patient, such as psychiatric history, establish ‘body image’ concerns, identify reasons for seeking treatment’ as well as being required not to imply that treatment might ‘improve a patient’s psychological wellbeing’.
The Professional Standards for Cosmetic Practice also calls for ‘buy now’ financial deals to be banned as well as making clear the risks of the procedure and being transparent about costs.
The profession had a responsibility ‘to provide standards to which we would expect our members to work’, commented RCS president Professor Norman Williams. ‘We have serious concerns that not all those who offer cosmetic procedures are adequately qualified, or that patients are getting accurate information prior to treatment.’ The hope is that the new standards and will inform the review currently being conducted by the NHS Medical Director, Sir Bruce Keogh of the industry.
Standards include a duty on practitioners ‘to manage expectations of how they will feel after treatment’; a consideration of whether they should refer a patient to a clinical psychologist; pre-procedure discussions should include the disclosure of psychiatric history such as eating disorders and any signs of body dysmorphic disorder; and advertising must be ‘honest and responsible, using only real patient photographs that have not been air brushed or digitally enhanced’.
‘As the majority of cosmetic procedures are not available on the NHS, we must ensure that commercial interests do not compromise patient safety,’ said Steve Cannon, chairman of the working party and RCS council member. ‘With the demand for cosmetic surgery and non-surgical treatments rising year on year, it is crucial that the highest level of professionalism is maintained amongst practitioners.’