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NHS report critical of cosmetic surgery regulations

24 | 04 | 13

By SheldonDavidsonSolicitors

An NHS review of the UK cosmetic surgery industry has warned the government of serious inadequacies in the way certain procedures are regulated.

Medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, who led the study in the wake of the much-publicised PIP breast implant scandal, voiced a lengthy list of concerns on a wide range of topics.

Among the subjects to attract his ire included the use of ‘dermal fillers’, injectable anti-wrinkle treatments which can have serious side effects. Sir Bruce described the lack of regulation surrounding these treatments as “bizarre”, and was particularly critical of the way they are regulated in the UK and Europe.

No fewer than 190 dermal fillers are on general sale in the continent, compared with just 14 in the US. The report recommends that such items be made available by prescription only, and administered by qualified medical professionals.

Patients should receive clearer guidelines on risks

However, the report’s wider concern was for the general state of the industry, with calls to ban financial inducements and limited time offers associated with cosmetic surgery products. Reality television was also brought into the debate, with shows such as The Only Way Is Essex criticised for their frivolous portrayal of cosmetic surgery.

Above all, a lack of information on the risks of treatment was blamed for causing many of the clinical negligence cases which often arise when cosmetic procedures go wrong. Many claims involve patients citing a lack of knowledge of the risks involved as the reason for pursuing compensation to help fund the corrective surgery.

The Department of Health is set to respond to the recommendations over the summer, agreeing new legislation that it is hoped will improve the safety of the cosmetic surgery industry.

What to do if cosmetic surgery goes wrong

If you are the victim of a cosmetic surgery procedure that has gone wrong, Sheldon Davidson Solicitors can advise on you on the likely success of any clinical negligence claim.

It will need to be shown that the surgery has caused you physical or psychological pain and that the negligence of the surgeon in charge of your treatment was at fault for this. In particular, it is vital that you speak to medical negligence solicitors if your health has been damaged as a result of your cosmetic surgery.

The procedure may have been performed incorrectly, or you may not have been given all the information required to make a decision on whether to proceed, such as the risks involved. You may also subsequently have needed to take time off work to correct the problem, which will have caused a loss of earnings.

In every case, the key factor is some form of negligence. It is not enough to simply state that you are not happy with the aesthetic outcome of your treatment, and this will not be seen as grounds for a clinical negligence claim.

Our team of experienced medical negligence solicitors will assess all the details of your case and keep you fully informed every step of the way, representing you in the pursuit of compensation for your injuries.

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