According to a new review released under NHS medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, people who undergo cosmetic injections to improve their skin have no more protection than someone buying a toothbrush. The filler and Botox market is currently worth almost £3bn, but experts are worried that the ‘explosive growth’ in treatments could be a ‘crisis waiting to happen’ if measures are not put in place to protect patients from unqualified practitioners.
The review, which was set up following the PIP breast implant scandal, calls for greater restrictions on advertising and for all clinics, NHS and private, to publish their complication rates. Dermal fillers are to be made available only through prescriptions and all practitioners have to have proof of their qualifications. Furthermore, it has been suggested that a private ombudsman should be appointed to deal with complaints about private medical care, which includes dermal filler injections.
Sir Bruce said ‘We have heard terrible reports about people who have trusted a cosmetic practitioner to help them but, when things have gone wrong, they have been left high and dry with no help. This needs to change.’
Health minister Dan Poulter was in agreement, saying ‘If anything good can come of the awful episodes like the PIP scandal, it is that the safety of the procedures that people may choose to undergo has been questioned. It is clear that it is time for the government to step in to ensure the public are properly protected. The independent panel has made some far-reaching recommendations – the principles of which I agree with entirely.’