The Safety in Beauty Campaign believes wholeheartedly that the only way to protect those undergoing non-surgical cosmetic procedures is to properly regulate the aesthetics industry, ensuring that those who carry out treatments are fully qualified and rigorously trained, and that patients are protected by legislation.
On January 8, HEE (Health Education England) published a two-part report aimed at improving and standardising the training available to practitioners who perform non-surgical cosmetic procedures, setting out ‘qualification requirements’ for these individuals. Whilst the Safety in Beauty Campaign welcomes any action that will improve patient safety, it is disappointing that, yet again, an opportunity has been missed to protect patients by making this training a lawful requirement.
Whilst the report is positive in some respects, it does not go far enough in protecting the public from ill-qualified, unsafe, and uninsured practitioners, and does little to alter the fact that an NVQ qualified beauty therapist can carry out injections and other potentially dangerous cosmetic procedures on unsuspecting members of the public thus jeopardising their safety.
75 percent of the complaints audited by the Safety in Beauty Campaign over 2014/2015 arose from poorly trained under qualified and experienced providers. The concerns of the public were reflected in a survey carried out by the Safety in Beauty Campaign that found that the public prefer a fully qualified medical professional to carry out their anti-wrinkle or filler treatments.
Campaign Founder Antonia Mariconda says “Whilst there are some excellent advanced beauticians and aestheticians in the industry, a larger number of poorly trained and non suitably qualified individuals continue to tar the good standing of the industry by carrying out sub standard work, in unsuitable ways, using unethical marketing tactics and operating in unsuitable premises, these individuals also have very little knowledge and skill on how to deal with serious complications, this is a huge concern to our campaign”
The public have made their feelings clear, which begs the question, why isn’t the government responding?
It has been more than three years since Sir Bruce Keogh unveiled ambitious plans to clean-up the unregulated and often dangerous world of non-surgical cosmetic procedures, but the sad reality is that little has changed. The public are still exposed to ill-qualified individuals wielding syringes, who can, and indeed frequently do, inflict untold damage on their subjects.
So where now?
The industry feels that even though the HEE have made some steps towards improving training and qualifications it is not enough and more must be done
The Safety in Beauty Campaign will be relentless in its drive to protect the public from unscrupulous companies and individuals and its drive for full regulation of the industry will continue apace. At the moment, recommendations are all well and good but there is, of course, an inherent difficulty in enforcing recommendations and making sure that all who carry out non-surgical cosmetic procedures comply.
Legislation will ensure that practitioners comply with qualification and training requirements, and it is only then that the public will enjoy the protection from unscrupulous individuals that is so woefully overdue.
*On-Line Survey carried out by The Safety in Beauty Campaign results from 718 respondents – from legally analysed and verified data