The All Party Parliamentary Group on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing (APPG) has published its final report into botulinum toxin, dermal fillers and other aesthetic non-surgical cosmetic treatments today.
The APPG investigated practitioner standards and qualifications, registration of practitioners or licensing, ethics and mental health considerations, and the serious issues around advertising and social media.
The APPG stated that it was not its intention to claim who should or should not be allowed to become a practitioner, but to ensure all practitioners gain the appropriate training and prove their competence to deliver aesthetic treatments.
The group made 17 recommendations for Government to aid this regulatory gap. These included setting national minimum standards for practitioner training, making dermal fillers prescription only, mandate practitioners to hold a regulated qualification in line with national standards, place advertising restrictions on dermal fillers and other invasive aesthetic treatments, and require social media platforms to curb misleading ads and posts promoting these treatments.
The APPG also outlined in point five of its recommendations that on-site medical oversight should be made mandatory for aesthetic non-surgical cosmetic treatments using prescription-only medicines, where the treatments are performed under the oversight of the prescriber who has gained the accredited qualifications to prescribe, supervise and provide remedial medicines if necessary. They suggest that initial face-to-face consultation with the person providing the medical oversight (the prescriber) must also be made mandatory prior to any treatment.
The recommendations were based on evidence given in public inquiry sessions and submissions from stakeholders including trainers, practitioners, aesthetic industry operators, health regulatory bodies and consumers themselves.
Co-chairs of the APPG, Carolyn Harris MP and Judith Cummins MP, commented, “We launched this inquiry as we were deeply concerned that as the number of advanced treatments on the market continues to grow, the regulations remained fragmented, obscure and out of date which puts the public at risk. We urge the Government to implement the recommendations in our report and to take action to improve the situation for the benefit of the industry and public safety.”
Chair of the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP), Professor David Sines added his response to the report. He commented, “I welcome the APPG report, and I would urge the Health Minister, Nadine Dorries MP, to act on the recommendations as quickly as possible. In terms of the regulation of products, the JCCP welcomes the APPG’s recommendation that the regulation of dermal fillers must be brought into line with injectable toxins as prescription only.”
Although the APPG has not recommended to restrict treatments such as botulinum toxin, dermal fillers and thread lifts to healthcare professionals only, Professor Sines reiterates the importance of this.
Aesthetic practitioner, owner of the PHI Clinic in London, and Aesthetics Clinical Advisory Board Member Dr Tapan Patel expressed his views on the new report. He said, “I’m delighted to see there is some progress in the right direction, but we need to see these recommendations implemented. They must go as far as possible to ensure these treatments are performed by healthcare professionals who are qualified to not only deliver the procedure but support the patient fully if there is an adverse effect. Who can and can’t perform the treatments must be clearly defined so as to remove ambiguity.”
Dr Tristan Mehta, founder of Harley Academy, also responded to the report. He said, “Through calling for fillers to become prescription-only and mandatory medical oversight for such treatments, the risk of permanent complications can be significantly reduced. As an approver partner and Training and Education Committee member of the JCCP, we will be working to ensure that Harley Academy delivers on its mission to qualify medical injectors across the country to the requested standard – a Level 7 diploma in injectables. It is a crucial time for the sector to come together and finally achieve much-needed regulation.”
The final report published by the APPG can be read here.