Sajid to crack down on unregulated cosmetic procedures

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid at 10 Downing Street. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

The public will be protected against botched Botox and fillers, as the government confirms its intention to introduce a licensing regime for non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

An amendment to the Health and Care Bill tabled today (Tuesday 1 March) will give the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care the power to introduce a licensing regime for Botox and fillers, the scope and details of which will be determined via extensive engagement including a public consultation.

Although the majority of the aesthetics industry shows good practice when it comes to patient safety, this step will ensure consistent standards and protect individuals from those without licences, including from the potentially harmful physical and mental impacts of poorly performed cosmetic procedures.

It is the latest move by the government to safeguard those who access non-surgical cosmetic treatments and follows on from new legislation making it illegal to administer such treatments to under 18s, and banning adverts on all forms of media including social media, influencer advertising and traditional advertising for cosmetic procedures which target under 18s.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid 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 on social media has contributed to an increase in demand for cosmetic procedures such as Botox and fillers. 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.

The licensing scheme will introduce consistent standards that individuals carrying out non-surgical cosmetic procedures will have to meet, as well as hygiene and safety standards for premises.

It will focus on those cosmetic procedures which, if improperly performed, have the potential to cause harm such as Botox and fillers.

This amendment in addition to ongoing work with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency on the potential to bring certain devices, such as dermal fillers without a medical purpose, in scope of medical device regulations.

The government is currently analysing responses form a public consultation which ran to 25 November 2021 and will publish a formal response in due course.

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