We are delighted to announce the much needed addition, of our latest advisory panel expert: Kevin Timms.
Kevin Timms is a solicitor specialising in product liability claims. Kevin acts for individuals who have been harmed by dangerous products such as medical devices, drugs and general products, He is one of five solicitors representing the interests of thousands of woman who received faulty PIP breast implants filled with industrial grade silicone and is a member of the Claimants’ Solicitors Steering Committee.
He has been successful in winning legal awards such as: Winner of the Junior Lawyer of the Year category at the Law Society Excellence Awards 2013 and Highly Commended in 2012; Winner of the Rising Star of the Year category at the Claims Innovation Awards 2013; Winner of the Young Achiever of the Year category in the Personal Injury Awards 2012 and shortlisted in the same category in 2013.
Kevin is recommended by the Legal 500 as “being completely undaunted by large-scale group actions”.
We welome Kevin, who will be helping us assist members of the public, or professionals within the beauty and aesthetics industry who are concerned about a faulty device, treatment, product or drug. Please do contact us, if you require assistance or need expert help.
A leading eye surgeon and expert has condemned the use of Iris Implants following a national newspaper article where a ‘surgery obsessed model’ had ‘cartoon green’ permanent implants placed into her eyes in her quest for physical perfection.
Mrs. Sabrina Shah-Desai a leading UK accredited Consultant Ophthalmic Plastic Reconstructive surgeon, with private practices in London and Harley Street expressed concern after reading the press article, which appeared in The Daily Mail on June 2nd.
Speaking on behalf of The Safety in Beauty Campaign, as a public safety advisor, Mrs Shah-Desai stated that: “I’m concerned that thousands of people reading this article will now think that iris implants are an easy way to change the colour of their eyes, without considering the serious risks attached to this procedure”
Iris implant surgery was developed by a Panama based Ophthalmic Surgeon, to treat people who do not have an iris, either because it did not develop properly or following a trauma to the eye. People also experiencing a condition called heterochromia – a condition which causes a person to have one eye a different colour to the other, may have iris implant surgery,
The colour of a persons eye is determined by the iris, (a coloured ring of muscle fibers behind the clear cornea and in front of the lens), during iris implant surgery, an artificial iris made of silicone is unfolded and and adjusted to cover the natural iris, through a small cut in the cornea, this incision is very similar to people undergoing cataract surgery.
Studies of people who have had iris implants reveal that this surgery can seriously damage eyes and vision, including the risk of other complications such as cataracts, glaucoma, reduced vision, pain, bleeding in the eye, corneal cloudiness and blindness.
In one study, nine out of patients needed their implants removed surgically, this in turn poses another set of problems and further risks.
Cosmetic iris implants are not approved for use in the UK, USA or EU, so people fly to countries like Mexico, Panama and India to have this procedure.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Glaucoma Society strongly discourage people from undergoing this surgery for cosmetic purposes, due to the documented potential damage to healthy vision.
Mrs Shah-Desai stated “With coloured cosmetic use contact lenses available for a quick, temporary eye colour change, it is unthinkable that a person would want to choose permanently damaging their eye health and vision from this non-approved procedure”
*Image Daily Mail/Sham Qari/Barcroft Images
The Implications Of New Government Qualification Standards For Advanced Beauty Therapists And Medical Aesthetic Practitioners
It has been almost three years since Sir Bruce Keogh published The Keogh Review and promised a new dawn in better regualtion and much needed improvement to the cosmetic interventions industry. Whilst the industry has been proactive at raising awareness, much work is still needed to bring the beauty and aesthetics industry to a level where transparency and safety are at a suitable standard.
On January 8th 2016 the Department of Health published the Health Education England Report outlining a new framework of qualifications from Levels 4 – 7 relevant to all medical aesthetic practitioners and advanced beauty therapists working, or looking to work, in the clinical skin care industry. While the recommendations of this publication represent an element of change, which is always disconcerting, it is significant to emphasise its importance. Not only does it seek to assure client safety but equally it should be regarded as being vital to the future status and reputation of the medispa sector as a whole.
The date given by the government by which all aesthetic practitioners and therapists need to gain these qualifications: 2018
Who compiled the report and its recommendations?
The new qualification framework is not a notional document written by a government minister. It is an industry driven report based on consultations with an Expert Reference Group and Advisory Groups drawn from all levels of aesthetic industry professionals, regulatory bodies and related health professions. The full list of all contributors can be found within the report.
Training courses provided by product or equipment suppliers alone are no longer enough
The HEE is very clear that supplier driven training is no longer adequate as the principle training vehicle. Much product or equipment training is excellent but standards are not consistent, courses are not properly structured or assessed and trainers are not always qualified teachers, assessors or clinicians. The curriculum development and training delivery for an accredited qualification is an entirely more rigorous and robust programme of learning
Which treatments are covered in the HEE Report?
The principle treatment genres covered in the HEE report are grouped as follows:
- Laser, IPL and LED
- Chemical Peeling and other modalities of Skin Rejuvenation treatment including microneedling and mesotherapy
- Botulinum Toxin
- Dermal Fillers
- Hair Restoration Surgery
The Qualification Framework – Levels 4 – 7
The different levels learning were originally defined by the Qualification Curriculum framework or QCF, which was an affiliated body to OFQUAL. The levels reflect an upward sliding scale in the advancement of the complexity and depth of the knowledge or skill being learned, the teaching and learning styles employed and modalities of assessment.
Is there something to compare these levels to?
Yes see the examples below:
Level 4 – First year foundation degree
Level 5 – Second year foundation degree
Level 6 – Graduate level / third year degree
Level 7 – Post graduate level Eg Medical degree / nursing degree
Are these qualifications only going to be available through a university?
No. HEE is very specific in saying that all levels of the qualifications may be completed with any accredited training provider – eg. university, college of higher education or private provider. However, the courses must be accredited by an OFQUAL recognised awarding body or university and taught and assessed by appropriately qualified educators, assessors and clinicians.
What are the entry requirements to complete these qualifications?
HEE have set clear access pathways to enable individuals from various backgrounds to enter the aesthetic profession . These are the principle entry qualifications for entry at Level 4:
- 5 GCSEs at grade A – C including Maths, English and a Science
PLUS one of the following
- One A’ Level or equivalent + an Access / Foundation course
- Level 3 Beauty Therapy or equivalent
- Level 2 Beauty Therapy + Access / Foundation Course
- Level 3 in a Health Specialism + Access / Foundation Course
- Proof of Ability to study at Level 4 + Access / Foundation Course
- Accreditation of prior learning and experience + Access / Foundation Course
Which treatments will therapists and aesthetic practitioners need to become qualified in and to what level?
The following chart outlines which treatment procedures a therapist or aesthetic practitioner will be able to provide at each level:
Can previous training be accredited or recognised?
Yes. The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) and the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) are standards practices in education. Individual consultation and assessment will be required to ascertain the possibility of APL against the HEE framework.
If these are recommendations, and not yet law, why should anyone take any notice?
The HEE report is indeed based on recommended government standards – no legislation has yet been passed. The Department of Health has however recognised and endorsed the call for such legislation:
““Throughout our meetings, discussions and correspondence with stakeholders from all groups, professions and experts, the call has been for a new legislative framework. Taken together, our recommendations provide that framework for both surgical and non-surgical interventions.”
We can only, at present, speculate as to when or if the HEE qualification framework will become law but it is clear that the government has provided us with a buffer zone in which to get our act together. To reinforce the need to take this seriously, further pressure on individuals to become formally qualified will come from industry self regulation and greater consumer awareness requiring all practitioners and business owners to comply.
So how will all of this affect beauty and aesthetic professionals?
For all individualprofessionals, clinic owners, educators or trainers these new standards are going to affect career prospects or future business development. In terms of job opportunities, the demand for higher level qualifications is inevitably going to be a pre-requisite moving forwards and, equally, once clinic owners begin to advertise that they only employ higher qualified personnel, all businesses will be under pressure to give their clients the same assurance.
The publication of the HEE report represents a positive way forward for our industry and for medical aesthetic practitioners and beauty therapists around the UK who work ethically, knowledgably and skillfully and who wish to be fully valued and respected for the high quality services they provide. While we will no doubt never get rid of the ‘cowboys’ and ‘bargain basement’ mentality of some individuals, we can at least separate ourselves from their poor reputation and establish a higher echelon of professionalism that the public, and our peers in the aesthetics sector, will recognise.
To view the full HEE Reports Part One and Two
With kind thanks to guest writer: Sally Durant
For further information and individual advice
Make an appointment to speak to one of Sally Durant’s team for advice on your specific situation, by calling 01527 919880 or emailing her at email@example.com
Exclusive: On the 30th December a video popped up on my feed on You Tube ‘Facial Dissection Course” was amongst the words in the title, but this was no medical tutorial or video led by a distinguished panel of university professors or seasoned medics and professionals, this was a 25 minute video presented by a non medically qualified Beauty Therapist called Maxine McCarthy who leads a ‘training’ company called Cosmetic Couture, her role: teaching other non medically qualified beauticians to inject toxins and cosmetic fillers into the faces of the mass public.
The courses led by McCarthy enable beauty therapists with no formal medical qualifications or training in medicine at all, to wield a needle into the faces of the general public. Currently the law in the UK does not prohibit beauty therapists carrying out toxin injections and cosmetic fillers, despite the substantially large amount of botched beauty cases being reported to the media and medical organisations by non medically qualified ‘practitioners’.
The University of Newcastle declines any knowledge of this being a University led or associated course, they wish to make it clear the course is not hosted, run or organised by Newcastle University, the University simply rent training areas to 3rd party ‘Allied Health Professionals’, which then begs the question why use is the University emblem and branding used in the video? is this not misleading the public to assume this is a University accredited course? we are happy to stand corrected where need be.
You only have to look at the stories generated daily on-line to see the percentage of badly qualified and non medically qualified ‘practitioners’ carrying out substandard and potentially hazardous work to vulnerable people.
Sir Bruce Keogh promised a cleaner, transparent, improved aesthetics industry more than two years ago – but so far he has failed in his many undelivered promises. Has the industry improved? no it has actually got worse in our opinion.
McCarthy is not breaking the law by ‘teaching’, she is making a living by recruiting other ‘injectors’ eager to jump on the bandwagon of an ever growing aesthetics industry, but the safety in beauty campaign continues to ask the public one simple question ‘would you let a non medically qualified person inject your face?’ It seems our uncomfortable question continues to cause anger amongst the beauticians that inject fillers and botox for lucrative returns.
The long rambling video and the actual birth of the ‘first ever’ beautician led human dissection course on a human head (cadaver) has led to outrage amongst the medical community who feel insulted that the video carries statements made by McCarthy such as “beauticians are actually low claims risk” – The Safety in Beauty Campaign disagrees with this statement completely and has substantial data to refute this claim, just because a beautician has not claimed for a botched procedure via an insurance company does not mean that botched procedures are not happening daily! weekly! monthly!
Once again this video (in our opinion as a campaign) does nothing but offend the medical profession that spend six years as a minimum working hard to earn a medical qualification, let’s not forget the further years spent training in specialities, and of course the continuous professional development, revalidation, insurance, and jumping through a lifetime of bureaucratic hoops for the privilege. A career in medicine is not Rock n Roll.
The video and some comments made by the participants within it undermine a professional that is centuries old, not just ‘2 days’ picking and staring at a human cadaver, (which is another debate altogether but it does beg the question why are beauticians allowed to freely pick and dissect a human head donated for medical and scientific purposes with no absolute medical training or qualification whatsoever?) no… wait I hear they have an NVQ…..
This campaign is often accused of bullying beauticians – far from it – we respect all professions, but I have yet to read a comment from a plastic surgeon claiming to be able to perform a leg wax or a relaxing hot stone massage better than a beautician. I think you get my point here.
McCarthy and the participants in the video are also seen wearing blue ‘scrubs’ confined traditionally to being worn by medically qualified professionals only, or at least employed individuals in a national health service organisation such as a ward porter or staff in a hospital.
Further outrageous comments include “I believe a medic is more bothered about money than us” is made by one of the unnamed attendees.
The Safety in Beauty Organisation believes that only medically qualified professionals should carry out invasive injectable cosmetic treatments such as Botox and Cosmetic Fillers, we believe that if a person is not qualified to deal with a potentially serious complication then they should not carry out a treatment. It is the campaigns right to uphold and state this opinion. It is an opinion backed by almost the entire British medical community, the same community who are often left to pick up the pieces of botched work performed by sub standard providers.
This campaign has battled hard to stop a practice where too many individuals have profited from the vulnerabilities of the general public without a thought or regard for their health or wellbeing. We applaud all entities that are committed to improving the standard within the industry but we do not applaud the undermining of the medical professional, nor do we feel it is appropriate for this kind of activity to take place on donated human bodies, a subject that evokes much sensitivity and debate especially if the experimenters and dissectors are non medics.
What’s next beauticians carrying out appendectomies? We wish to see a firm and rapid halt to this kind of activity.
A human cadaver donated to a university establishment should be used only for the purposes of scientific and medical development by the very professionals who have earnt the right to be able to dissect it respectfully, a right accrued through years of training and study and commitment, not for ‘probing’ by non medics such as beauticians. Whilst we understand the beauticians stating that the attended this course to improve their knowledge and skills an approach welcome by many – we still believe as a campaign that the implications of this activity have a much deeper effect.
Take a look at the comments some of the medical community and members of the public have made on social media, what do you think? please do leave a comment and share you views, expect this story to be in the general media domain soon…
Antonia Mariconda – Founder
If you attended the Beautytracker app launch last week official photo’s are now available for viewing on our Facebook page please do pass by, and please leave a “like” to stay updated on our latest news, reports, research, and topical debates.
London 8 June 2015, 6.15am: This morning I was featured talking about Safety in Beauty and Cosmetic Surgery on Sky News ‘Sunrise’ with Eamon Holmes.
The interview included my thoughts on the new GMC guidelines which include the recommendations for surgical provers to:
Be open and honest with patients and not trivialise the risks involved.
Give patients enough time and information before they decide whether to have a cosmetic procedure and allow them time to ‘cool off’.
Ask patients to tell them how they have been affected by a cosmetic procedure, both physically and psychologically, and check whether they are satisfied with the outcome.
Take particular care when working with children and young people – they should not target people under 18 through their marketing and they should seek additional advice from professionals whose expertise is in treating young people.
Seek their patient’s consent themselves rather than delegate it.
Market their services responsibly; they should not make unjustifiable claims about the results they can achieve and they should not use promotional tactics
The Safety in Beauty Campaign is publishing this statement issued today by the BACN and PIAPA on voluntary registers.
The Safety in Beauty Campaign share the sentiments issued by both the BACN and PIAPA namely: “We firmly believe that no nurse, doctor or dentist should feel the need to join a fee-charging Voluntary Registration body to reassure the general public as to their professional competence”
BACN and PIAPA The British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN) and Private Independent Aesthetic Practices Association (PIAPA) would like to issue this joint statement addressing the current and prevalent issue of voluntary registers for medical cosmetic practitioners. There has been a lot of publicity recently about cases where patients have been unhappy about the treatment they have received from an individual or clinic. Patient safety and satisfaction is at the top of the agenda of all the Governing Councils and Professional Associations. We would like to clarify the position with regard to how we address such instances where treatment is provided by a member of a professional body/association and who is registered with a governing council and how this differs from the process adopted by a ‘Voluntary Registration Body’. A number of Voluntary Registers are in operation in the aesthetics sector operated by private companies, the most recent example being SAVE FACE. These bodies do not have the power to accredit any individual or company with regard to medical competence – this is the role of the governing councils such as the GMC, NMC and GDC. It is our official position that a practitioner is accredited to practice by their relative governing council and medical insurers. We firmly believe that no nurse, doctor or dentist should feel the need to join a fee-charging Voluntary Registration body to reassure the general public as to their professional competence. Medical professionals have worked hard to acquire their qualifications and understand their obligations to do no harm unto their patients. It is solely the role of the respecting governing bodies whether that be the Nursing and Midwifery Council, General Medical Council or General Dental Council to determine fitness to practice and the duty of individuals to highlight when a fellow colleague is failing in their levels of care.
Under new guidelines both the NMC and GMC have introduced measures to address practice within their various disciplines and those who have chosen to work independently. This includes producing evidence of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and training, checks and reflections with a fellow medical practitioner in your specific field and proof of professional indemnity insurance. The BACN and PIAPA have both participated in the recent NMC Revalidation Pilot established to develop procedures for revalidating the medical skills of nurses. Both the BACN and PIAPA will continue to support members in their choice to act freely and responsibly within the realms of regulation and good practice.
We both support additional checks being made with regard to non-medical practice issues such as the quality and standards operated with regard to clinics or premises where treatments are taking place. However having a ‘kite mark’ in this area in no way gives a guarantee with regard to the treatments being provided, this can only come from the governing medical councils. Any Voluntary Register that is offering guarantees of professional practice beyond a premises check could not sustain this position if this is challenged by a patient.
Any complaint would always find its way back to the governing councils. The Voluntary Registers therefore cannot offer any kind of guarantee of patient safety or access to a process for complaints without the approval of the governing councils. Aesthetics is an independent and ever-evolving area of medicine and it is our individual and collective duty to pro-actively encourage the public to seek information from the official medical registers and empower them with the confidence to ask the right questions over qualifications, training and indemnity.
The BACN and PIAPA will continue to work with the Government, governing councils and other professional associations to deliver new forms of accreditation that the public can see and that will give them reassurance about who is carrying out their treatment. Sharon Bennett BACN Chair firstname.lastname@example.org Yvonne Senior PIAPA Chair email@example.com
7th June 2015: An national newspaper article today says celebrities carry the burden of responsibility in who they choose to carry out cosmetic interventions and that they should “adhere” to professional recommendations, the article was published in the wake of an “aesthetician” carrying out injectable fillers on the celebrity Katie Price and then using the photos taken during the actual treatment for self promotion on social media.
Scores of medical experts and professionals conveyed their fury and disappointment at the choice of injector given that the provider administering the potentially dangerous injections to Katie Price is not medically qualified and unable to deal with a serious medical complication.
This week The Safety in Campaign Facebook page was targeted with abusive comments from public individuals supporting the aesthetician at the heart of the debate. Members of the medical community were sworn at and abusively targeted for sharing their opinions on consumer safety and medical qualifications regarding potential complications.
The post which reached out to over 15,000 people on social media was removed following complaints from the public of swearing and distressful comments made by a small isolated group of individuals to members of the medical profession and to the campaign page.
This month campaign founder Antonia Mariconda appeared on Channel 5 news discussing awareness of fake cosmetics to read more about the #wakeupdontfakeup campaign here