PRESS RELEASE – Healthcare profession takes strides in protecting non-surgical cosmetic intervention patients

Five prominent healthcare groups have come together to improve safety for patients undergoing non-surgical cosmetic interventions. The groups have joined forces to form the Clinical Standards Authority for Non-Surgical Cosmetic Interventions (CSA) and the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) with support from the Department of Health (DoH).

The two groups will work collaboratively to ensure patient safety in the specific area of non-surgical interventions, which includes dermal fillers, Botox injections and cosmetic laser therapies. This area is largely unregulated and although many of these treatments are carried out by doctors, nurses and dentists who are covered by their own professional codes of conduct, there are also a large number of treatments carried out by non-regulated practitioners.

The associations currently involved are:

  • The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS)
  • The British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN)
  • The British Association of Dermatologists (BAD)
  • The British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS)
  • The British College of Aesthetic Medicine (BCAM)

These bodies will work together to protect patients by improving and enforcing clinical standards and training, and by maintaining a register of practitioners.

The CSA and the JCCP have already started on these key tasks with the objective of fully launching in April 2017. Professor David Sines, CBE, has been appointed as the Interim Chair of the JCCP and his first task has been to bring together the key professional medical associations involved in delivering non-surgical services followed by other professional associations and stakeholders.

This news comes hot on the heels of the recent publication of the ‘Guidance for Doctors who offer cosmetic interventions’ by the General Medical Council (GMC), which both the CSA and the JCCP welcomed.

Professor David Sines, Interim Chair of the JCCP, said: “In 2013 the Keogh ‘Review of the Regulation of Cosmetic Interventions’ found that the regulatory framework had not managed to keep up with the growing cosmetic intervention industry. Sections of the non-surgical cosmetic interventions industry remain largely unregulated, however healthcare professionals have made important strides in improving patient safety. The formation of the CSA and the JCCP is an important step forward.”

The need for improved training and oversight to be addressed by the groups is highlighted by an audit of dermatologists and plastic surgeons*, which showed:

  • 58 per cent of the dermatologists answering the survey had seen patients with complications from non-surgical cosmetic procedures.
  • 54 per cent of these complications were due to dermal filler injections. Of these, 33 per cent had granuloma formation and 10 per cent had allergic reactions. Granuloma formation is a chronic, debilitating foreign body reaction, where chronic nodules develop which may require treatment with systemic immunosuppressive agents and recurrent surgical removal.
  • 63 per cent of respondents stated the complications were irreversible or chronic.
  • 59 per cent of respondents stated the complications had a highly negative impact on the patient’s quality of life.
  • 49 per cent of respondents felt there was either a missed diagnosis of skin disease, or inappropriate treatment of skin disease associated with the non-surgical cosmetic procedure (including skin cancer).

The two main areas where complications arose were laser/light treatments (67 per cent) and dermal fillers (54 per cent).