Safety Investigation Ordered into Private Cosmetic Surgeons; REPORT CLAIMS MANY CLINICS FAIL TO CHECK QUALIFICATIONS

By Oakeshott, Isabel | The Evening Standard (London, England), July 8, 2003 | Go to article overview

Safety Investigation Ordered into Private Cosmetic Surgeons; REPORT CLAIMS MANY CLINICS FAIL TO CHECK QUALIFICATIONS


Oakeshott, Isabel, The Evening Standard (London, England)


Byline: ISABEL OAKESHOTT

HEALTH chiefs are to launch a full investigation into cosmetic surgery, amid mounting fears over the quality of some clinics.

A spot-check by government inspectors in London revealed that many practices fail even to check their surgeons' qualifications and identities, raising serious questions over patient safety.

Their damning report today claims many clinics also mislead patients about what they can achieve.

Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson is so worried he has now ordered a full review of the industry.

Critics fear the booming market for treatments such as Botox, facelifts and liposuction has encouraged inexperienced general surgeons - many of whom trained overseas - to set up lucrative businesses offering cosmetic procedures, falsely marketing themselves as experts in the field.

The inspection by the health watchdog the National Care Standards Commission - the first of its kind commissioned by the Government - took place in March and April.

The survey of 22 small and mediumsized clinics in London found many scored poorly on procedures to check out their surgeons. Very few had robust systems for seeking patients' views.

Although some had a complaints policy, many fell short in helping people or relatives who were unhappy with their surgery.

The NCSC also highlighted misleading claims in advertising literature, such as "light treatment - beautiful skin without surgery - achieve amazing looking skin in under an hour."

It found some sole practitioners or small clinics had no robust systems to collect data on the quality of their clinical work or monitor performance. …

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