Scotland gets tough on cosmetic surgery clinics

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Cosmetic surgery remains one of the least regulated areas of healthcare.

Now, those independent clinics in Scotland that offer aesthetic treatments will have to sign up to a register in order to practice.

The deadline date is 1 April 2017 and any clinic not registered will be illegal.

The new regulations are a bid to offer safer practice – to the benefit of patients and practitioners alike.

Many see it as a watershed moment in the world of cosmetic treatments and has been established in response to the many stories of botched plastic surgery as well as the high profile PIP (Poly Implant Prostheses) breast implant scandal that saw many women fall foul of a product that caused a huge health scare when the implants were recalled.

The Chief Medical Officer in Scotland requested an expert group to investigate the procedures, and it recommended that Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) regulate and monitor all independent clinics.

The registration system has already been set up and some independent clinics already signed up.

The remaining independent businesses – independent clinics are teams providing services that are not part of a hospital – now have until 1 April this year to register with the HIS.

Regulators hope that this new system will measure quality and offer assurances to reaffirm confidence in the cosmetic treatments industry.

It also demonstrates a willingness for clinics to demonstrate best practice and high professional standards as well as come under the scrutiny of official inspectors.

Potential patients will be able to go online to view inspectors’ reports of each and every clinic and the HIS will be able to take action for non-compliance.
There will also be the opportunity for patients to make complaints.

According to reports, registration, more than 500 independent clinics have signed up to the HIS register since it launched on 1 April 2016.

After 1 April, clinics face a penalty, a fine of up to £5,000 and/or up to three months’ imprisonment for failure to register.
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