A committee set up in the wake of the PIP breast implant scandal has called for tighter regulation of the cosmetic surgery.
The official review into cosmetic practices should mean the PIP scandal should never happen again. But the industry has a lot of work to do.
A major review into cosmetic surgery is being launched in light of the PIP scandal.
A review led by NHS medical director, Sir Bruce Keogh, has called for all people who provide cosmetic procedures to undergo formal qualifications and to be signed up to a register. Sir Keogh said:
"The irony in all of this is that not only are fillers not regulated as a medical device; the most striking thing is that anybody, anywhere, anytime, can give a filler to anybody else, and that is bizarre.
"We should ensure that all devices - whether they are solid or liquid - that are implanted into humans and stay there should be covered by the medical devices regulation.
"We recognise that Europe is looking at this but in the mean time I don't think we can wait - keeping our citizens at risk.
"We should make fillers prescription-only in this country as soon as possible."
Health officials said there has been "explosive growth" in the market for dermal filler treatments, which involve injecting a gel-like substance into wrinkle sites, in recent years.
The products, which are also used to plump up lips, should be made prescription only, the review board set up by the Department of Health said.
It added that in the US, where the items are "properly regulated", there are just 14 items on the market, but across Europe there are 190 different types of fillers available. The report states:
It is our view that dermal fillers are a crisis waiting to happen.
A person having a non-surgical cosmetic intervention has no more protection and redress than someone buying a ball-point pen or a toothbrush.
A committee set up by the Department of Health in the wake of the PIP breast implant scandal has called for tighter regulation of the UK cosmetic interventions industry.
Recommendations announced today by the committee, headed by Sir Bruce Keogh, has recommended tighter controls on advertising, that those administering treatments should have proper qualifications, and that all dermal fillers should be prescription only.
The review board, set up following the PIP breast implant scandal, said it was "surprised" to learn that non-surgical treatments are almost entirely unregulated.
The cosmetic surgery industry is worth £2.3 billion a year, with people spending money on a range of procedures from Botox to breast implants.
Sir Bruce Keogh said the review into cosmetic surgery should be complete by the end of the year. Keogh told BBC Breakfast the review will address the "cacophony of concern" about "grubby practice" that was inflicting some parts of the industry.
This whole debate has raised a cacophony of concern across society. There are people who are concerned about the regulation, there are people who are very concerned about the qualifications of those who are conducting, in the dark recesses of the cosmetic industry, procedures that they are not qualified to do.
There are, sadly though, some parts where there are some pretty grubby practices going on and that's why we're having the review.
A major review into cosmetic surgery is being launched in light of the PIP scandal. Daybreak speaks to inquiry author Sir Bruce Keogh.
A major review into cosmetic surgery is being launched in light of the PIP scandal. Daybreak's Tiffany Royce reports.
NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, who will lead the inquiry into cosmetic surgery, will recommend tighter rules in several key areas;
- Making it routine practice for surgeons to register all devices - from breast implants to hip replacements - on a detailed register that could be used to detect trends and trace individual patients.
- Requiring clinics to join a scheme, similar to that run by the travel industry, that would offer patients protection if a company went bust.
- tightening the rules on anti-ageing dermal fillers, which require only basic safety checks and can legally be injected by anyone.
- Introducing minimum training requirements for surgeons carrying out cosmetic procedures.
NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh has promised to clean up the "grubby areas" of an industry that he says does not give patients enough protection, according to The Times.
He said that though there were some very good clinics his inquiry would raise hard questions for the whole industry.
He told the newspaper: "You can be a commercial operation that's well run but are you an ethical operation? Is your practice... driven purely by financial considerations?"