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Safety of non-surgical aesthetic treatments

Tuesday 14th June 2022

House of Commons


Cosmetic interventions are expanding rapidly in the United Kingdom. They are classified into surgical, which include face-lifts, blepharoplasty and breast implants, or non-surgical such as dermal fillers, Botulinum Toxin (Botox) and the use of laser or intense pulsed light. These latter account for nine out of ten procedures and 75% of the market value. Presently, the non-surgical interventions market is almost entirely unregulated and requires no qualifications to perform.


Sir Bruce Keogh’s report into the Regulation of Cosmetic Interventions singled out dermal fillers as a “crisis waiting to happen”.  This was corroborated by a British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons survey which found 69% of its surgeons had seen patients presenting with complications following temporary fillers, and 49% had seen complications following semi- or permanent fillers. Furthermore, 41% of surgeons reported having seen patients who either required corrective surgery or were assessed as being untreatable due to the damage that had been caused.


A recent Times investigation uncovered practitioners regularly using non-licensed Botulinum to increase profit margins and bypass the prescription process. Many patients have been scarred for life with side effects such as hard painful lumps when injected with unlicensed or counterfeit products. Other practitioners regularly performed treatments on individuals under the age of 18 in direct contravention of the law.


Should the market in non-surgical cosmetic procedures remain unregulated, it could have disastrous consequences for patients, the NHS, and wider society.

With licensing being introduced for aesthetic treatments, it is crucial we consider how it can be applied to ensure the public are safer than they are now.


Read a short report on the meeting and recommendations to government HERE.


Maria Caulfield MP Minister for Patient Safety and Primary Care 

Dr Paul Charlson Past President of the British College of Aesthetic Medicine; one of the UK’s leading cosmetic doctors

Sally Taber Trustee of the Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners; Director of the Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service [Presentation Powerpoint]

Dawn Knight Patient safety advocate and campaigner; Lay member and Trustee of the Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners

Professor David Sines CBE Chair of the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners [Presentation Powerpoint]

Tamara Sandoul Policy and Campaigns Manager at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health; she has worked on the regulation of cosmetic procedures for the past three years [Presentation PDF]


Meeting Chair  Professor Ray Powles CBE, Chair of Conservative Health

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