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Last week, the government yet again missed an opportunity to protect the public. During the third reading of the Health and Care Bill, they voted against the proposal to protect the title ‘Nurse’ in legislation.
Currently, only the title ‘Registered Nurse’ is protected in legislation. This means that ANYONE can call themselves a 'Nurse' and offer professional advice and services, even if they have no nursing qualifications, or have been struck off. It really is shocking and has all kinds of worrying implications for the safety of the general public. Within the realm of aesthetics, this means that unqualified people from ANY background, can promote themselves as an ‘Aesthetic Nurse’ and misleadingly deliver medical aesthetic treatments without fear of impunity.
Many of us in the aesthetics industry do what we can to educate the public, encouraging them to ensure that their aesthetic treatments are being provided by medical professionals. However, the lack of regulation around the title of "nurse" makes it more difficult for unsuspecting patients to determine who is a real nurse and who is just using a professional-sounding name.
It really is a "free for all" for non-healthcare professionals. Something that we find particularly ironic is that qualified, registered healthcare professionals who perform procedures such as PDO threads, have to jump through hoops and be registered with the CQC. But the CQC "does not regulate" non-healthcare professionals, it is outside their remit. Leaving the non-healthcare professionals to perform these treatments without consequence.
The latest treatment that non-healthcare professionals seem to be advertising en masse is fat transfer and liposuction. This is one of the scariest things we've heard. It's a treatment that should only ever be carried out by regulated plastic surgeons or specially trained medical practitioners.
Facethetics delegates will have heard Lead Educator, Yvonne Senior, rant many times about the lack of regulation in Aesthetics Medicine so she was extremely disappointed about another missed opportunity to protect public safety, especially having worked with the JCCP over the years, attempting to put in place an educational framework of standards and regulation.
We are sure that many of you will be just as frustrated by this as we are. But what can we do?! Well, Professor Alison Leary founded the campaign #ProtectNurse, which you can follow on social media. She also set up a petition - please do sign it if you can - it's currently at over 30,000 signatures. While the government have already voted against this piece of legislation, MP Dawn Butler is now taking the amendment to the House of Lords, so there is still a chance for a positive outcome here. We'll keep you updated...