A leading health and wellbeing provider is urging government to give greater powers to local authorities in a bid to ensure greater legislative and regulatory oversight of the non-surgical cosmetic interventions sector.
Transform Hospital Group, which operates two hospitals in Manchester and Bromsgrove, as well as a network of clinics across the UK, believes local government will play a crucial role in bringing about long overdue improvements to the regulatory environment in the interest of public safety.
At the APPG on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing’s recent concluding session on non-surgical cosmetic interventions, the role of local government in enforcing the Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act was highlighted, as well as ensuring cosmetic interventions are not available to under 18s unless carried out by registered medical practitioners.
THG is now calling for additional legislative change and further devolution of public health decision making to local authorities in order to achieve positive outcomes.
The Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Act, which is set to come into force in Autumn 2021, will make it illegal for those under the age of 18 to be given cosmetic fillers or Botox unless it is administered by a registered medical practitioner.
While the passage of this bill signifies a major step forward in the legislative environment, no new enforcement mechanisms for local authorities have been introduced as part of the legislation, and local authorities will be entitled to use the powers already accorded to them under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, in line with age restrictions on tattoos, teeth whitening and sunbeds.
Tony Veverka, CEO of Transform Hospital Group, said: “I believe the Act is a positive step in the right direction, but the way in which it is enforced will be crucial to its success. This is a good opportunity for local authorities to demonstrate the value of the devolution of public health responsibilities, but further legislation is required to ensure patient safety measures are fit for purpose across the sector.
“I would strongly urge policy makers to make amendments to the Local Government Act 2003, so that it becomes a criminal offence for premises offering non-surgical cosmetic interventions to trade without local authority licencing, to carry out non-surgical cosmetic interventions outside of a licenced premises, and to introduce a minimum requirement for all individuals conducting these interventions to hold a licence to perform procedures.
“These steps would significantly improve the patient safety environment in the non-surgical cosmetic interventions sector and increase the responsibilities of local authorities across the country.”
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Under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, as amended by the Local Government Act 2003, local authorities are responsible for regulating and monitoring businesses offering cosmetic body piercing, permanent tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring and electrolysis.
The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 states:
“A person shall not in any area in which this section is in force carry on the business—
- of tattooing;
- of semi-permanent skin-colouring;
- of cosmetic piercing; or
- of electrolysis,
unless he is registered by the local authority for the area under this section.”
Transform Hospital Group believes it is a dangerous affront to patient safety and public health that premises where non-surgical cosmetic procedures take place are unregulated, whilst tattoo parlours are subject to local authority oversight, particularly given that graver health risks may occur through the injection of pharmaceutical products and medical devices, often by individuals without clinical qualifications.
Transform Hospital Group is calling for an amendment to the Local Government Act 2003 to ensure that the non-surgical cosmetic interventions sector is brought into line with regulations for tattooing and body piercings, making it a criminal offence for a premises offering non-surgical cosmetic interventions to trade without local authority licencing. This will ensure that minimum standards for patient safety are met and that providers and practitioners are held to account, particularly amid the heightened need for appropriate levels of clinical standards during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, Transform Hospital Group calls for legislation to go further and forbid the delivery of non-surgical cosmetic interventions outside of a local authority licenced premises, putting an end to the practice of so-called “mobile practitioners” - regardless of their qualification or level of clinical competence - delivering non-surgical cosmetic procedures in private residences. Moreover, any individual conducting non-surgical interventions should be required to hold a licence to perform procedures, achieved through accreditation at V300 level.
Transform Hospital Group firmly believes that legislation that establishes a licencing regime for premises, accompanied by a standardised qualifications threshold for practitioners, would be a crucial initial step towards raising standards within the medical aesthetics industry, which will increase accountability amongst practitioners and ensure that patient health and wellbeing is safeguarded.
About Transform Hospital Group
Transform Hospital Group is a leading independent hospital, healthcare and wellbeing provider. It is a trusted partner to public and private health organisations delivering outstanding facilities, treatment and care across a wide range of clinical disciplines. With innovation, compassion and clinical excellence at its heart, Transform Hospital Group is committed to driving industry standards to ensure outstanding patient experiences.