Good news for those thinking about having a cosmetic procedure: the General Medical Council (GMC) has published new guidelines to help.

The GMC Guidelines have been a long time coming: I’ve been watching with interest since the government commissioned a review of the industry in 2013 by Prof Sir Bruce Keogh. At that time, it was found that there were few safeguards for patients, especially for those who were having non-surgical treatments like fillers. The review called for better protection for patients, who could become prey to practitioners who focus on profits rather than wellbeing.

Back in April this year, the GMC (the body that regulates doctors in the UK) announced that it would be bringing in new guidelines for those carrying out cosmetic procedures.

At the same time, The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) also published its own new guidelines for Professional Standards.

But we were still lacking comprehensive advice aimed at patients.

The new rules doctors must adhere to came into force this month (June 2016) for both private clinics and the NHS. Some of the key directives are that patients must have any risks explained to them in full, and be given time to consider before going ahead with a procedure. There is also a ban on promotions such as two-for-one offers.
And the rules have teeth, because doctors who flout them could be struck off the medical register.

The GMC has put together a ten-page leaflet for potential patients summarising everything they need to know. The guidelines are a great way to work through the process of choosing a doctor. For example, they include a handy list of questions patients should ask. The leaflet also outlines the patients’ rights, and the doctor’s responsibilities to them

The ten-page document, “Cosmetic procedures: what do I need to consider? What to expect of doctors who carry out cosmetic procedures” is available to download from the GMC’s website.

I recommend that all of my clients or potential clients take a read of the leaflet: any practitioner worth their salt should be ticking all of these boxes in any case! I’m happy to talk through any of the details mentioned within the guidelines, and answer any questions you may have. Feel free to contact me to find out more.