Botox clinics told to tighten up on safety

Rogue practitioners face crackdown but charities say self-regulation is not enough

Beauty parlours and clinics providing Botox treatments and "filler" injections to plump up lips or smooth sagging skin are to be controlled for the first time in an attempt to drive out "rogue" practitioners.

Only doctors, dentists and nurses will be invited to apply for registration, which will allow them to present a certificate of approval to prospective patients as evidence of the safety and quality of their service. Organisations that provide the service will also be able to apply.

But the voluntary system was attacked yesterday for not going far enough. The charity Action against Medical Accidents said the Government's refusal to bring in statutory regulation would leave people at risk.

Which?, the consumer magazine, said it was "disappointing" that the Government had decided to "bottle out" and "leave it to the cosmetic treatments industry to make itself safe".

Demand for cosmetic treatment has soared in recent years and there are now an estimated 5,000 clinics carrying out an estimated 200,000 Botox and filler treatments a year in the UK.

Major cosmetic surgery is regulated, but non-surgical treatments such as Botox and filler injections can be offered by any high street business.

The dangers were highlighted by the actress Leslie Ash, star of the sitcom Men Behaving Badly, who had collagen implants in her lips in 2003 which went wrong, leaving her with a "trout pout".

Two government reports published in 2005 drew attention to the risk of the procedures. At the launch of the reports, the Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson said aesthetic fillers injected under the skin used material from animals, birds and human corpses which could be infected with hepatitis and other viruses.

Yesterday, Andrew Vallance-Owen, chairman of the regulatory scheme established by the Independent Healthcare Advisory Service, said: "This is excellent news for the consumer and properly qualified practitioners. With an estimated growth of 25 per cent in treatments last year alone, the industry and the Department of Health recognised the need to safeguard patients by creating a system of registration and certification."

Two years ago, Dr Vallance-Owen said he regretted the Government's refusal to bring in statutory control but had accepted the task of establishing the self-policing scheme because "some regulation is better than none".

He said at the time it was very hard to work out how many people were being treated and how many were suffering adverse effects. "Occasionally you read of a celebrity who has been injured ... But there may be a lot of people who are embarrassed by what has happened or don't want to make a fuss and we don't hear about them."

Peter Walsh, chief executive of Action against Medical Accidents, said: "More and more people are being harmed by unregulated cosmetic treatment each year. We are disappointed that the Government has refused to bring these treatments under statutory regulation, but we will be using our experience and influence to make this scheme as robust as it can be."

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Travel Customer Service and Experience Manager

    £14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...

    Recruitment Genius: Cleaner / Caretaker / Storeman

    £15500 - £17680 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A position has become available...

    Recruitment Genius: Head of Sales - SaaS B2B

    £60000 - £120000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This conference call startup i...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital and print design a...

    Day In a Page

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
    RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

    RuPaul interview

    The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
    Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

    Secrets of comedy couples

    What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
    Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

    Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

    While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
    The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

    The best swimwear for men

    From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
    Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

    Mark Hix goes summer foraging

     A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket
    Ashes 2015: With an audacious flourish, home hero Ian Bell ends all debate

    With an audacious flourish, the home hero ends all debate

    Ian Bell advances to Trent Bridge next week almost as undroppable as Alastair Cook and Joe Root, a cornerstone of England's new thinking, says Kevin Garside
    Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season

    Aaron Ramsey interview

    Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
    Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho

    Community Shield gives Wenger chance to strike first blow in rivalry with Mourinho

    As long as the Arsenal manager's run of games without a win over his Chelsea counterpart continues it will continue to dominate the narrative around the two men
    The unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth - and what it says about English life

    Unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth

    Bournemouth’s elevation to football’s top tier is one of the most improbable of recent times. But it’s illustrative of deeper and wider changes in English life
    A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

    A Very British Coup, part two

    New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
    Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

    Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

    Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms