Standard of care in medical aesthetics

I was pleased to be asked to discuss the appalling standard of care in medical aesthetics in the UK on BBC Radio Wales’ Good Evening Wales show recently – highlighted in the BBC’s recent documentary ‘The Botched Beauty Business’.

The first problem is that medical aesthetics is not recognised for the specialty that it is.

There are a growing number of training courses in medical aesthetics that are completely unregulated, and practitioners need far more than a qualification from a quango organisation to practice safely, especially if they are not a professionally registered medical practitioner.

Ensuring patient safety is not just about the level of unregulated training that practitioners complete; it’s about maintaining high ethical standards in patient care that are enshrined in the code of conduct that medical practitioners must adhere to such as nurses, doctors or dentists.

As a registered nurse, I am bound by professional guidelines to ensure I always put the patient’s best interests first. Without requiring the professional medical registration of aesthetics practitioners, patients will have no recourse to take action or have any form of redress for clinical incompetence or bad professional judgement.

While training is essential, an emphasis on better training for practitioners without an appropriate medical qualification will not improve patient safety; we don’t actually need more regulation, we need people without a medical qualification to not be allowed to carry on practising!