People providing Botox or fillers would need a licence under new Government plans to protect patients from botched cosmetic procedures.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid outlined his commitment to making it an offence to perform such non-surgical work without a licence, saying “far too many people have been left emotionally and physically scarred” when things have gone wrong.
The Department of Health said an amendment to the Health and Care Bill, due to be tabled on Tuesday, would give the Health Secretary the power to introduce a licensing regime for such procedures.
The “scope and details” of the regulations will be “determined via extensive engagement including a public consultation”, the department said.
The licensing scheme would aim to bring in consistent standards that people carrying out non-surgical cosmetic procedures must meet, as well as setting out hygiene and safety standards for premises.
Mr Javid said: “While most of those in the aesthetics industry follow good practice when it comes to patient safety, far too many people have been left emotionally and physically scarred after botched cosmetic procedures.
“I am committed to protecting patient safety by making it an offence for someone to perform these cosmetic procedures without a licence.
“We’re doing all we can to protect patients from potential harm, but I urge anyone considering a cosmetic procedure to take the time to think about the impact on both their physical and mental health and ensure they are using a reputable, safe and qualified practitioner.”
Minister for Patient Safety Maria Caulfield said the spread of images online via social media has led to a rise in demand for Botox and fillers and there had been a subsequent increase in people suffering the consequences of badly-performed procedures.
She said: “While these can be administered safely, we are seeing an unacceptable rise in people being left physically and mentally scarred from poorly performed procedures.
“Today’s amendment is the next step on the road to effective regulation of non-surgical cosmetic procedures in England.”
It follows new legislation making it illegal to give such treatments to under-18s, and banning adverts – including social media, influencer advertising and traditional advertising – for cosmetic procedures which target people in that age group.
Details on the public consultation on non-surgical cosmetic procedures are expected to be set out at a later date.