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Cosmetic surgery firms 'acting like salesmen'

View profile for Judith Thomas-Whittingham
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Cheap cosmetic surgery comes at a price for the NHS

Cosmetic surgery firms are “behaving like double glazing salesmen”, according to an MP, who has told parliament that more needs to be done to protect the public from poor industry standards.

Kevan Jones, Member of Parliament for North Durham said that new laws are needed to ensure that anyone seeking cosmetic surgery is offered counselling before they undergo any procedures. He also told MP’s that ‘aggressive marketing techniques’ by cosmetic surgery firms should be banned.

Proposed legislation would look to provide more regulation for the industry and ensure that those carrying out cosmetic procedures are properly trained. It would also oversee the establishment of a ‘code of conduct’, ensuring patients are fully informed of any potential risks and complications.

“We have here a classic example of the market – not only failing – but being used to exploit people, which is ruining their lives and costing the NHS millions of pounds per year”, said Mr Jones.

“The whole thrust of advertising is to sell procedures without any counselling or advice on whether it is appropriate for an individual to undergo them.”

Mr Jones accused surgeries of targeting those that had already undergone cosmetic procedures, advertising through email and social media despite such practices being reported to the Advertising Standards Agency.

At present, the vast majority of cosmetic surgery is carried out in the private sector where any qualified doctor – whether they are a surgeon or not – can perform procedures without undertaking any additional training. According to the Royal College of Surgeons, this leads to confusion among the general public when looking to obtain ‘trustworthy information’ about a procedure and those carrying out any surgery.

Vice President of the RCS, Stephen Cannon, said: “Undergoing cosmetic surgery is a big decision which should never be taken lightly and we would urge anyone to think carefully about it.

“Our advice is that if you are thinking of having some kind of work done, make sure you consult a surgeon who is trained and experienced in the procedure you are considering. Look them up on the General Medical Council’s Register; the RCS website tells you everything you need to know about cosmetic surgery.”

Stephensons specialist clinical negligence solicitors are experts in bringing claims against cosmetic surgeons and cosmetic surgery firms. We assist clients in obtaining compensation for the negligent treatment that they have received. We are also able to bring cases against beauty therapists for more minor cosmetic procedures.

For expert advice call us on 01616 966 229 and speak to a member of our clinical negligence team to discuss your compensation claim today. Alternatively you can send our clinical negligence team an email via our contact form.