A damning new report on surgical procedures has been published by the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD).
The extensive study found that nearly three quarters (70%) of clinics in the sector operate effectively unregulated, that eight out of 10 (79%) of providers offering complex surgeries such as breast reduction do not perform these anywhere near enough to maintain an appropriate skill set and that a third (32%) do not even allow patients a ‘cooling off’ period when they book procedures.
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons has welcomed the report. Consultant plastic surgeon and former BAAPS president Nigel Mercer said, “These figures present a distressing picture, but one which is sadly not surprising to us as they only confirm what we have been saying for years – that there is an absolute need for statutory regulation in this sector. Aesthetic surgery needs to be recognised as the multi-million pound specialty it is and not just a fragmented ‘cottage industry’. “
The report also showed that more than one in ten clinics (11.5%) ceased to exist between being identified and being approached to take part and that nearly 70% refused to participate in the study (as per Care Quality Commission requirement) and are, therefore, effectively not regulated. One in five (20%) of centres that offer breast augmentation and a staggering 55% of those offering breast reduction perform these ops less than 10 times a year. Routine psychological assessments were carried out in less than 35% of sites and of the 88.6% that advertise, over a quarter (26%) promote special offers and discounts.
Just over half of respondents (56%) always do the initial patient consultation with a consultant surgeon and less than half (44%) of operating theatres were properly equipped. Just over one in five (22%) didn’t have a member of resuscitation staff on duty at all time and a third don't have out-of-hours consultant rota or a Level 2 (high dependency) unit.