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."

peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

    £16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

    KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

    £100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

    IT Systems Manager

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

    IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

    £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits