How to find the right aesthetic professional for you
“Don’t be confused by the jargon!” says Aesthetic Nurse, Cheryl Barton,
“when it comes to finding a ’safe’ medical practitioner in aesthetics and cosmetic interventions, look beyond the initials, titles and memberships”
Looking for reputable practitioners who perform medical aesthetic treatments and procedures can be a minefield, especially if there are confusing initials, titles and membership accreditations listed on a clinic or professionals website, Cheryl Barton, Director of Aesthetika Clinic, casts some clarity on locating the right professional for you, with her insiders guide to jargon busting.
- Be Aware
Be wary of any organisation claiming to ‘Accredit’ any Aesthetic or Cosmetic Practitioner.
In the rush to make the aesthetic sector more reputable after the PIP scandal, there are big gaps opening up that the public can easily fall through on who can and who can’t provide you with a cosmetic intervention. Basically in the UK anyone can pick up a syringe and inject you and there is nothing to stop them from giving themselves a fancy name or title to imply that they are experience, advanced or even expert.
Subsequently, many so called ‘practitioners’ are trying to market themselves and their activities as ‘Accredited’.
- Understanding what a register is
There are currently two types of Registers in the UK for Doctors, Dentists and Registered Nurses practicing within the aesthetic/cosmetic sector and these are either:
Neither of these registers list any Non-Health therapists or Beauty Therapists.
When it comes to checking any register, all Doctors, Dentists and Registered Nurses are licensed to practice in the UK by their mandatory and statutory regulators, this means it is written in statue, which means it is the law.
They MUST be on that register to work and practice legally in the UK.
If they are not listed on those Mandatory Registers you really do want to know why.
It is often those who are not on the mandatory registers that hit the newspaper headlines as the bogus nurses or doctors.
My advice is always:
Check the mandatory registers first and foremost.
This can be done on line, its quick and simple:
Check a Doctors registration
Check a Registered Nurse registration
Check a Dentists registration
Check for aesthetic registers that have been accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).
- Save Face
- Do not be fooled into thinking “accreditation” means one doctor or nurse is safer than another
There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Doctor, Nurse or Dentist A is anymore safer than Doctor, Nurse or Dentist B by being listed on a voluntary register.
A voluntary register can bring a certain element of Quality Assurance to patient-consumers. We can view these registers rather like administrative kite marks, meaning that certain policies are in place.
But please be in no doubt, there is absolutely no guarantee of a ‘safe’ treatment or cosmetic perfection and to market these treatments and practitioners as ‘safe and accredited’ is in my view misleading, as they all come with risks, there are side effects and there can be complications.
- Always check those mandatory registers first.
Don’t be taken in by the jargon, the badges and the certificates on the wall, check the registers that matter, the mandatory ones.
The Mandatory GMC register also lists Doctors who have specialised in a certain area of medicine or surgery.
For instance there are many who claim to be Dermatologists and Skin Experts.
A Dermatologist is an expert medical skin specialist and will be listed on that mandatory GMC Specialist Register.
Likewise many may call themselves Plastic, Cosmetic and Aesthetic Surgeons or ENT, Head and Neck or Facial Surgeons, they may have done some training within the NHS in these fields of surgery, but if they did not complete their training they will not be listed as a specialist surgeon.
If Doctor is not listed on that GMC specialist register, should they really be claiming to be ‘specialists’ at all?
And finally if they are not listed there, then you really do need to ask why.
Cheryl Barton is an experienced Aesthetic Nurse and a qualified independent prescriber (NIP) with two busy aesthetic practices in Sheffield, she also manages a popular online nursing forum.
Cheryl is passionate about patient safety and can be found voicing her dedication awareness on Twitter @AesthetikaHo