04 September 2012

There needs to be “broader” and “more flexible” accreditation within the plastic surgery industry, it has been claimed. In an article for The Lawyer, Sarah Ellson, head of the public and regulatory law group Field Fisher Waterhouse, explained that the Department of Health (DoH) is currently undertaking a review of the sector to establish how it can be improved.Ms Ellson noted that one of the biggest problems at the moment is that there are too many loopholes for individuals that wish to avoid being accredited, while consumers often do not know how to find the people most qualified to meet their needs. Furthermore, some treatments can be administered by non-healthcare professionals, such as Botox and teeth whitening. Last month, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh asked members of the public to give their opinions on the matter as part of the DoH review and it was found many considered the cost of surgery more important than the qualifications of the person performing the procedure. Ms Ellson suggested the plastic surgery industry needs to take the lead on this issue and introduce an accreditation status that will persuade customers it is better to use a qualified professional, even if it is more expensive. Additionally, she stated: “There are good arguments for accrediting not just the person involved in providing the treatments but the entire localised system delivering that service: the clinic, outlet or treatment centre.”