Posted: August 28th, 2013

By: liverpoolCosmetic

New guidelines for Cosmetic Surgery, Botulinum Toxin (Botox) and Dermal Fillers affecting Liverpool, Cheshire and Lancashire

The Keogh Review

UK Cosmetic Surgery providers are soon to establish new methods to market their services to patients, due to new legislation originating from the Government requesting the Medical Director of the NHS, Sir Bruce Keogh to undertake a review of the cosmetic surgery industry, including its fierce and somewhat controversial marketing practices.  This followed the PIP breast implant scandal, and the results of which were published earlier this year as follows:


The key recommendations:


  • Existing advertising recommendations and restrictions must be updated and better enforced.

  • The use of financial inducements and time-limited deals to promote cosmetic treatments should be prohibited to prevent vulnerable consumers from being inappropriately influenced.
  • Legislation should be introduced to classify cosmetic fillers as a prescription-only medical device.
  • All those performing cosmetic interventions must be registered.
  • A breast implant registry should be established within the next 12 months and extended to other cosmetic devices as soon as possible to provide better monitoring of patient outcomes and device safety.
  • A Department of Health spokesperson says: “The stories that emerged from the PIP scandal revealed some examples of extremely bad practice in the cosmetic interventions industry. The independent panel has made some far-reaching recommendations, the principles of which we agree with entirely. We will consider the report carefully and respond in detail in the autumn.”



The sector, which is set to be worth £3.6bn by 2015 according to Mintel, has exploded in recent years, fuelled by TV shows such as The Only Way is Essex, whose characters talk about cosmetic surgery as freely as others might talk about make-up.  The UK Cosmetic Surgery industry has also been hit by scandals and for promoting an unhealthy body image among impressionable teenagers and young women in particular.


The extreme negative publicity highlighted the lack of implant quality and acceptable data recording exposed by the PIP breast implant crisis in 2011.  There were also allergations of widespread use of “misleading” and “inappropriate” advertising, which therefore caused the Government to launch an independent review as detailed above.


One of the recommendations outlined in the Keogh review was that “gimmicks” and “deals” along with other sales promotion activities should be ruled out completely and that prospective patients should be making their decision based on who offers the best clinical care and after-care, the qualifications of the practitioner and where the procedure is carried out.


One of the largest commercial UK companies no longer offers promotions, as instructed by the Independent Healthcare Advisory Service’s voluntary marketing code, and they now omit pricing from all press and TV advertising, instead inviting those interested to visit its website.


The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) council member Charles Nduka says: “In the UK it is illegal for a company to advertise prescription treatments to the public because they can do harm. The same should apply for cosmetic surgery, especially when it is being advertised in a way that gives the impression these are simple procedures with no risks or complications.”


The BAAPS is urging the Government and the Committee of Advertising Practice to enforce stricter regulations to cease the advertising in public places, advertising aimed at under-18s, and to abolish discounted offers and incentives such as “two for one” or money off surgery.  They also want to ban the the use of models and use real-life patients, to avoid raise unrealistic expectations to any patient considering cosmetic surgery or a cosmetic non-surgical treatment.


Nduka also stated: “It’s reasonable for potential clients to be informed about their options but it must not be done in a way that coerces, misleads or influences minors or the impressionable. We can’t have this reactive approach where companies are allowed to put out an inappropriate ad that is then taken down weeks later. This process is clearly not appropriate for the cosmetic surgery industry and therefore it should not be governed by the same rules as those who are selling toilet cleaner.” 


The outcome of these new legislations will regulate more closely the methods by which providers are allowed to market their services, for example Botulinum Toxin (Botox) and dermal fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm.


At Liverpool Cosmetic Clinic, we never use gimmicks or money off reductions for any surgical procedure or treatment – we simply provide a high quality service by fully registered NHS, UK based practitioners.


For more information or to arrange an initial consultation, call Melissa today on 07793 738456.

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