UK cosmetic surgeries use 'cowboy clinicians' says new Which? report
Cosmetic surgeries in the UK have been accused of illegal advertising, ‘hard sell’ ploys and neglecting patient safety in favour of making money.
An investigation by The Observer and consumers’ association Which? Revealed yesterday that ‘malpractice’ is widespread.
The report disclosed that some clinics are breaking the law by permitting unqualified staff to administer Botox injections, whilst some clients are not given enough time to think going under the knife. Some staff are also risking patient’s health as they are not qualified to know what to do if a customer has an allergic reaction to a botox injection.
In a money-making ploy, surgeries are also offering two-for-one deals to persuade women to opt for a second treatment.
The evidence gathered by Which? about suspect practice by some of the country’s best-known clinics, claims that the Harley Medical Group and Forma distributed promotional leaflets at London’s Body Beautiful trade fair last month, advertising Botox. This goes against guidelines drawn up by a healthcare regulatory agency.
Sally Taber, director of Independent Healthcare Advisory Services said of the revelations: ‘I’m pretty horrified about them. I was horrified to receive this letter. But I wasn’t surprised, because we knew there was bad practice going on.’
Cosmetic surgery in the UK has rocketed from 202,000 procedures in 2001 to about 700,000 in 2005. Around 80% of those are non-surgical treatments like Botox and laser hair removal and only 15% are breast operations, tummy tucks and liposuction.
Douglas McGeorge, president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, attacked the industry saying there were too many ‘cowboy clinicians’ who give Botox injections and derma fillers to prevent wrinkles ? just to make money.
‘Some of the well-known clinics are encouraging patients to have surgical procedures that they may not otherwise have considered. They are giving patients problems in the hope of getting them to sign up for more surgery.’