- Campaign to reach 100,000 signatures for a debate in Parliament.
- Tens of thousands of people in the UK undergo cosmetic surgery each year
- Rogue practitioners currently do not face the threat of criminal action if they don’t have relevant insurance in place
An e-petition to calling for laws affecting cosmetic surgery procedures to be tightened has been backed by North Durham MP, Kevan Jones.
Last year Kevan made a bid in the House of Commons to improve the regulation of the cosmetic surgery industry.
The e-petition, launched by North Durham resident, Dawn Knight, will be considered by Parliament if it reaches the required number of signatures. Dawn was the victim of a botched facial surgery procedure, performed by an uninsured cosmetic practitioner, and has campaigned for a change in the law ever since.
Practitioners who choose to operate without relevant insurance and who make mistakes are costing the NHS millions of pounds for putting right botched operations. Rogue practitioners currently do not face the threat of criminal action if they don’t have adequate insurance in place.
The past 10 years has seen a significant increase in cosmetic procedures carried out in the UK within an industry which remains largely unregulated. Consequently, there has also been an alarming increase in patients using NHS services to correct failed cosmetic procedures as a result of under-insured and uninsured practitioners.
Speaking in the week the petition was launched, Kevan said:
“A number of UK-based companies offering cosmetic procedures are giving the impression that they are fit to practice and have all the proper credentials in place. This is simply not the case.
“Rogue surgeons, often flown in by these companies from overseas, are today carrying out procedures without adequate insurance. When things go wrong, patients have no redress against them.
“This issue needs to be looked at by Parliament and the Government and we need the public to get behind this petition to prevent more lives from being ruined and to stop the cost to the NHS for putting right botched operations from mounting.”
Dawn Knight said:
“There is and has long been a culture within some sectors of the cosmetic surgery industry, both with practitioners and directors within the UK, that performing operations and surgical interventions, uninsured or underinsured is acceptable.
“This culture leaves patients unknowingly at a massive risk whilst under the knife. When things go wrong, which they frequently do, some of these companies see it as fine to use the NHS as a backup for their failings when a lack of insurance means their patients have no way of funding future care or reconstructive surgery.
“I have spoken to hundreds of former cosmetic surgery patients and they have all without exception sought medical help either from A&E or their GP. Some are even being told by the private hospitals to go to A&E as they do not have the adequate facilities to accommodate most emergency situations for their thousands of patients when complications set in.
“We need to send out a clear message to the world that the UK isn’t a honey pot where you can make millions and injure patients without fear of prosecution. There should criminal action against surgeons who choose to practice without the relevant insurance in place to protect the patient and ultimately the NHS.”
Four years ago the Government commissioned Sir Bruce Keogh to look at conduct within the cosmetic surgery industry. Sir Bruce’s report concluded that binding regulation was needed to eliminate dangerous practices within the £3.6bn cosmetic procedures market. However, the Government has still not implemented the findings of that report.