MPs on the Health and Social Care Select Committee have called for the Government to implement stricter regulation on non-surgical cosmetic procedures in order to protect vulnerable individuals.
Their concerns were published in the Health and Social Care Select Committee’s new report entitled ‘The Impact of Body Image on Mental and Physical Health’. They concluded that ‘a rise in body image dissatisfaction is the driver behind a new market that to date has remained largely unregulated’.
The report’s key recommendations to the Government include introducing a new licensing regime by July 2023, making dermal fillers prescription-only products, raising standards on training for administering practitioners and implementing a two-part consent process to further consider patients’ physical and mental health history before treatment.
The committee has also made suggestions with a view to protecting vulnerable individuals, including working with the Advertising Standards Authority to encourage advertisers and influencers not to doctor images, establishing a logo system whereby commercial images will have to signpost digital alterations, and prioritising diagnosis and treatment of body dysmorphic disorder.
The Health and Social Care Committee chair Jeremy Hunt said, “The Government must act urgently to end the situation where anyone can carry out non-surgical cosmetic procedures, regardless of training or qualifications. We heard of some distressing experiences – a conveyor belt approach with procedures carried out with no questions asked, procedures that have gone wrong and the use of filthy premises.”
The Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners contributed evidence to the committee. Chair Professor David Sines commented, “We look forward to continuing our engagement with the Government and health care regulators during the forthcoming months to realise the key objective of embedding patient safety and public protection for members of the public who elect to engage with non-surgical procedures within the context of national enforceable legislation.”