The Health and Social Care Committee have released a report this morning detailing the impact of poor body image in the UK and encouraging the government to quickly introduce a number of new laws.
The report, entitled “The impact of body image on mental and physical health”, looked into a number of areas and how they relate to body image, including advertising and social media, weight and obesity, and non-surgical cosmetic procedures.
For those of us in aesthetics, it was heartening to see the Health and Social Care Committee highlight the serious need for better regulation within the industry, stating that PATIENT SAFETY must be at the heart of the upcoming licensing scheme.
The report makes a number of recommendations for the future of non-surgical cosmetics, including;
A strong recommendation that the aesthetic licensing scheme be introduced by July 2023.
Minimum training and qualification standards for practitioners.
Making dermal fillers prescription-only substances
The introduction of a ‘Non-Surgical Cosmetic Procedures’ safety taskforce to examine issues that impact patient safety, such as remote prescribing, appropriateness of premises, education and training standards as well as accountability and governance.
As part of the new licensing regime, a two-part consent process is introduced, to allow patients to have at least a 48-hour cooling off period between the consultation and the treatment.
What does this all mean for the aesthetics industry?
The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt, Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee Chair said:
“The government must act urgently to end the situation where anyone can carry out non-surgical cosmetic procedures, regardless of training or qualifications. We heard of some distressing experiences – a conveyor belt approach with procedures carried out with no questions asked, procedures that have gone wrong, the use of filthy premises”.
“It was clear throughout our inquiry that some groups are particularly vulnerable to exploitation in this growing market that has gone largely unregulated. We need a timetable now for a licensing regime with patient safety at its centre to reduce those risks. We hope that ministers will listen to our recommendations and set about creating the safety standards that anyone seeking treatment has a right to expect.”
It’s a very promising sign that the Health and Social Care Committee appear to be taking their findings extremely seriously and this will hopefully push the government to make a decision about licensing, what it will involve and when it will be up and running, sooner rather than later.
So, will the aesthetic licensing scheme be in place by July 2023?
At this point, we still don’t know!
When the licensing scheme was first announced earlier this year, it was expected to take up to 2 years before the scheme was properly in place and enforceable by law. However, the Health and Social Care Committee certainly seem to be prioritising licensing and have emphasised the important role it will play in making non-surgical aesthetic treatments safer for patients. If the government take their recommendations seriously, we may have licensing in place in less than a year!
At this stage though, the recommendations made in the report are only recommendations - we still need the government to confirm what will actually happen next. The government has 2 months to respond to the report, meaning that their response will be due by 2nd October 2022. Hopefully, this will shed some more light on what we can all expect from aesthetic licensing.
As always, the Facethetics team are keeping a close eye on developments and will of course be updating you here on our blog and on social media as soon as there’s any more news!