The cosmetic surgery industry is currently unregulated. There has been talk since around 2005 about regulation but nothing up until now has happened so the recent draft Guidance for cosmetic surgeons issued by the General Medical Council (GMC) is long overdue and hopefully a first step towards regulation.
The draft Guidance includes the following proposals:-
- Provision of full information and sufficient time (a “cooling off” period) to consider a proposed procedure (“informed Consent”).
- Consent to be sought by the surgeon (not delegated to sales staff).
- Avoid promotional tactics (“buy one get one free”).
- Consider patient’s psychological needs and refer for expert advice/assessment if necessary prior to surgery.
- Take particular care when considering requests for surgery on children and young people.
- Have quality control by training and supervision.
- Communicate clearly.
- Ensure continuity of care after surgery.
Hodge Jones and Allen is contributing to the consultation on the Guidance proposals which, if adopted, will hopefully codify standards of care in cosmetic surgery. This is to be welcomed and should provide assurance to those considering a procedure.