Government attacked over cosmetic surgery

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Government pledges on the cosmetic surgery industry are “appalling” and represent a “wasted opportunity to ensure patient safety”, leading experts have said.

Cosmetic surgery leaders said they were aghast at the the lack of proper regulation put forward by the Government’s response to an independent review.

Ministers have failed to agree to a key recommendation from NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, whose review followed the PIP breast implant scandal.

He wanted to make injections or “fillers” to plump up the skin only available on prescription. There will also be no compulsory, central register of practitioners – whether for surgical, or non-surgical procedures such as fillers.

In its response the Government said it did “not believe that a new regulated profession is the only way of improving patient safety by practitioners of non-surgical cosmetic interventions”.

Sir Bruce also called for patient consent to be obtained by the surgeon who will operate on them and for “socially irresponsible” advertising to be banned.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) said it was “business as usual” for the sector.

Its president, Dr Rajiv Grover said: “Frankly, we are no less than appalled at the lack of action taken – this review, not the first one conducted into the sector, represents yet another thoroughly wasted opportunity to ensure patient safety.”

He added: “It’s business as usual in the Wild West and the message from the Government is clear: roll up and feel free to have a stab.”