With recent ‘cowboy’ practitioners making major headlines over the past few weeks, it’s no wonder that the aesthetic industry is back in the spotlight. It has become apparent that there is a slight ‘grey’ area in standards for practitioners and the level of care given to patients, both pre and post treatments, for both surgical and non-surgical. In this blog we explore the 7 essential standards when providing cosmetic procedures by the General Medical Council.
Establishments such as SaveFace and the Safety in Beauty Awards, are working hard to ensure reputable practitioners and clinics are recognised for their contribution to following best practice and industry standards. They have been campaigning for standards within this industry to be tightened up and enforced to ensure patients who put their faith in what they believe is a trusted practitioner to not be disappointed with their results. These concerns were initially raised by Professor Sir Bruce Keoghs in his 2013 Cosmetic Industry Review, as well as the Scottish Cosmetic Interventions Expert Group over the years.
It appears that their cries are finally being heard, and action is being taken. As from the 1st June 2016, the General Medical Council (GMC) are setting out 7 essential standards that need to be adhered to by any Doctor who offers surgical or non-surgical treatments to patients.
The standards will be set out within a guidance document, detailing ethical obligations and standards that practitioners will need to meet, as well as advising the best way to meet these standards.
The 7 essential standards when providing cosmetic procedures advice to be included will be along the lines of the following:
- Seeking your patients consent – It will be your responsibility as a practitioner to discuss the cosmetic procedure with the patient giving them all the information that they require to make an informed decision. This cannot be delegated to another member of staff, and it is best practice to offer all your patients a consultation period before booking any treatment.
- Give your patients reflection time – Patients must have enough time to reflect and assess if their chosen procedure is the right choice for them. This is why a consultation period and break before the treatment is advised.
- Consider your patients psychological needs – consider your patients vulnerabilities and be certain that they are going into having the procedure voluntarily and have not been forced.
- Work within your competency levels – recognising your limits, asking for advice or referring the patient to a colleague with the correct skill set will ensure no repercussion in the future post treatment.
- Up to date training – ensure that you are up to date with the latest techniques and undertake any relevant training courses.
- Providing all information to your patient – this includes written information, support networks and aftercare advice.
- Marketing your services – no promotional tactics will be able to be used to entice patients to make drastic decisions. Any advertising must be clear and factual.
Regarding the above guidance standards, our Aesthetic Trainer, Dr Fiona Durban thinks this is a step in the right direction “The GMC has simply defined standards of practice we should all currently be following. Practitioners should be self-directed in their learning in order that they are up to date with current best practice for procedures they perform. This also needs to be demonstrated for part of appraisal and revalidation. We should all be offering an initial consultation where treatments with our patients can be planned, their suitability assessed (including any psychological vulnerability) and information given. Consent should never be delegated to others. This guidance I hope is another step towards the profession demanding high standards of care and best practice”
Cosmetic Courses is able to offer you any training requirements that you may need, as well as advice and support in ensuring that you are ready for these standards coming into force on 1st June 2016.