Regulation of cosmetic treatments begins as registration of independent clinics becomes law

Scotland first country in the UK to begin regulating services that provide non-surgical cosmetic treatments

IHC regulation graphic

From tomorrow (1 April), all independent clinics in Scotland will be required to be registered with Healthcare Improvement Scotland due to new legislation that comes into force. The regulation of independent clinics is the first stage in improving safety and care for the increasing number of people seeking non-surgical cosmetic treatments, such as dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections.

The change has come about due to high profile public safety cases surrounding cosmetic treatments, including the Poly Implant Prostheses (PIP) breast implants recall.

Scotland is the first country in the UK to begin regulating services that provide non-surgical cosmetic treatments.

Clear benefits

Registration offers clear benefits for clinics and patients: registered clinics will operate to the highest professional standards and will show a commitment to safety and quality improvement, and patients can be reassured that clinics are independently regulated.

Once a service is registered, it will be subject to regular inspections. A report of each inspection will be published so the public can see how a clinic is performing. The service will be graded on the quality of care, environment, staffing, management and information.

Thus far, around 200 clinics will be regulated as of 1 April and this number is increasing on a daily basis.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland can take enforcement action if services do not comply with the requirements of the law. This action includes imposing conditions on a service’s registration, serving a notice on a service which requires them to improve and, ultimately, if a service continues to ignore requests to comply with the law their registration can be cancelled. In addition, if any member of the public is unhappy with the services they have received from a registered independent clinic they can complain to Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

Speaking of the change, Kevin Freeman-Ferguson, Senior Inspector with Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said: “This is an important change that helps ensure that those who receive non-surgical cosmetic procedures can do so safely within independent clinics that work to the highest standards. We look forward to welcoming more clinics now that registration is a legal requirement. If anyone is thinking about having a cosmetic intervention they can visit our website and access our list of registered providers. Moreover, if any clinics are in doubt about whether they need to register with us, we would urge them to get in touch and discuss their circumstances.”

Dermal Clinic in Edinburgh was the first clinic to register. Founding director Jackie Partridge said: “Dermal Clinic can now provide an added layer of reassurance to our clients. We believe that patient safety should always be the prime concern. There are many reputable clinics and practitioners in Scotland but, like any sector or industry, there exists some that do not maintain the highest of standards. The new legislation for independent clinics is vital to ensure the best care is carried out in the safest environment for every patient.”

Beauticians and beauty therapists that provide cosmetic treatments are not included in the definition of an independent clinic and therefore will not be required to register with us. The Scottish Cosmetic Interventions Expert Group recommended a second phase of change, which will bring non-surgical cosmetic treatments provided by other professionals into an appropriate regulatory framework.

More information

For a list of registered providers visit the independent healthcare section of our website.

Published: 31 March 2017