Healthcare professionals and surgeons at Nuffield Health Tees Hospital, in Stockton, have welcomed the General Medical Council’s (GMC) new guidelines for cosmetic procedures, which will clampdown on unethical practitioners and support patients’ safety.
The GMC’s ruling, which will be enforced from June, states that patients must not be rushed into any procedures and the surgeon must fully explain the risks involved in any plastic, cosmetic or breast procedure, as well as inform patients as to whom they should contact if they experience any complications.
Doctors and surgeons who break the regulations could be struck off the medical register.
The ruling comes on the back of new advertising regulations, implemented at the start of April, which banned aggressive plastic surgery marketing, including offering discounts, refer-a-friend schemes, gift vouchers and even offers to buy one procedure get one free, in a twist on supermarket BOGOF deals.
Nuffield Health Tees Hospital, which carries out a range of cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures, has backed the GMC’s latest ruling.
Mr Alex Jones, who specialises in plastic, cosmetic and breast surgery at Nuffield Health Tees Hospital, said: “For many people, a cosmetic procedure offers a way to feel happier and increase confidence, but it should only be carried out when there is a real benefit to the patient.
“It is imperative that patients are walked through the steps of any procedure during their initial consultation with the surgeon who will be performing the surgery, so they understand the key risks and benefits involved. They should also have the opportunity to make a decision in their own time with the opportunity to re-discuss things in a further appointment prior to surgery.”
Nuffield Health Tees Hospital director Lesley Lock said: “Patient safety, choice and information have to be the key priorities when it comes to any surgical procedure, whether medical or cosmetic. If a procedure isn’t right for a certain patient, we will say so. These new guidelines will ensure that professional standards are followed across the board and that surgeons’ duty of care to their patients is adhered to.
“It is also absolutely vital to ensure that your surgeon is registered with the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS).”