Government to crack down on unregulated cosmetic procedures

On 28 February 2022, the Government announced that it intends to introduce a licensing regime for non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as Botox and fillers. The aim is to protect patients from botched cosmetic procedures conducted by unregulated practices with questionable hygiene and safety standards.

The amendment to the Health and Care Bill is scheduled for 1 March 2022. The new powers will allow for the implementation of the licensing regime and further scope and details will be determined via an “extensive” engagement including a public consultation.
This added step will aim to ensure consistent standards are met, which will further protect individuals from those without licenses and the dangers of the potentially harmful physical and mental impacts of a poorly performed cosmetic procedure.

These changes are aimed at safeguarding those who access non-surgical cosmetic treatments. It follows new legislation which has made it illegal to administer these treatments to under 18 year olds and bans the use of advertisement for cosmetic procedure on all forms of media including social media, influencer advertising, and traditional advertising which primarily target those under 18 year olds.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:

“While most of those in the aesthetics industry follow good practice when it comes to patient safety, far too many people have been left emotionally and physically scarred after botched cosmetic procedures. I am committed to protecting patient safety by making it an offence for someone to perform these cosmetic procedures without a licence. We’re doing all we can to protect patients from potential harm, but I urge anyone considering a cosmetic procedure to take the time to think about the impact on both their physical and mental health and ensure they are using a reputable, safe and qualified practitioner.”

Minister for Patient Safety Maria Caulfield said:
“The spread of images on social media has contributed to an increase in demand for cosmetic procedures such as Botox and fillers. While these can be administered safely, we are seeing an unacceptable rise in people being left physically and mentally scarred from poorly performed procedures. Today’s amendment is the next step on the road to effective regulation of non-surgical cosmetic procedures in England.”

The licensing scheme will introduce consistent standards. Individuals that carry out non-surgical cosmetic procedures will have to meet these standards as well as hygiene and safety standards for premises.

The amendment to the Health and Care Bill follows a public consultation that the Government ran last year on the possibility of bringing certain devices, that do not have a medical purpose, within the scope of medical devices regulations. This includes dermal fillers.

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