Your Skin in Safe Hands – Regulations in the Aesthetic Field

Regulations also affect certain non-surgical aesthetic procedures …

You may have read in the news recently about the General Medical Council imposing new regulations on the cosmetic surgery industry, which come into effect from June this year.  What you may not have realised is that these regulations also relate to certain non-surgical aesthetic procedures too – including ‘Wrinkle Relaxing Injections’ using the prescription-only medication Botulinum Toxin.

Increased regulation has long been needed in the cosmetic surgery industry and we at Appearance Based Medicine welcome it.  In the Department of Health’s April 2013 report ‘A Review of the Regulation of Cosmetic Interventions’ stated that ‘a person having a non-surgical cosmetic intervention has no more protection and redress than someone buying a ballpoint pen or a toothbrush’. Scary Stuff!  The overwhelming focus of the GMC’s new regulations is the protection of the public. The regulations are designed to promote a greater awareness of a Medical Practitioner’s responsibility for a patient’s health and wellbeing (before, during and after treatment) and aim to improve the overall standard of care in clinics where detailed, one-to-one consultations between patient and practitioner are seen to ‘eat into’ fee-paying treatment time.

So what do these new regulations mean?

  • Practices must advertise and market their services responsibly and ensure any information given is clear and factual
  • A ‘cooling off’ period is recommended between the date of the initial consultation between patient and practitioner, and the date of the treatment so that the patient has the time and space to make an informed decision about whether or not the treatment is right for them
  • Medical Practitioners must seek consent from a patient themselves prior to carrying out a treatment
  • Practices must provide continuity of care – patients should be given clear post-treatment advice and the details of who to contact in the case of any adverse reaction to the treatment.

The Consultation process

For Appearance Based Medicine, the new regulations will have little impact on the way that we work, due to the fact that patient safety and customer care have always been at the very heart of what we do.  Prior to any treatment being carried out, all our patients have a detailed one-to-one consultation with me (Clare McLoughlin RGN INP).  I am the qualified Aesthetic Nurse Prescriber and am a member of the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN) and BAS (British Association of Sclerotherapists) and I carry out all the aesthetic procedures.  In cases where patients would like to be considered for treatment using prescription-only medication (including Botulinum Toxin), I am able to carefully evaluate their symptoms and medical history and determine whether or not treatment is appropriate, as I hold the relevant prescribing qualification as a Medical Professional.  However, the final say always comes down to the patient – I can make recommendations and provide comprehensive advice about both the positive and negative effects of Aesthetic Treatments, but I ensure that all my patients are given the time and space they need to decide whether it is right for them.

Save Face

For those considering an aesthetic treatment, I would always recommend checking your prospective practitioner’s qualifications and also visiting Save Face UK‘s website ( to ensure that you find a skilled, experienced and qualified Aesthetic Practitioner to work with.  Appearance Based Medicine are proud to be Save Face accredited and awarded ‘Excellence Status’, and I am also in the privileged position of being on their Expert Advisory Board, which gives me a chance to help our industry work towards improving our rigorous and effective standards in order to safeguard our customers.

Do contact us on 01628 303020 if you require any further information or have any queries about regulations in the Aesthetic field.