New cosmetic industry regulations a welcome step forward

New legislation requiring independent clinics to be registered and inspected for the first time is the most fundamental change to happen to Scotland’s cosmetic industry, according to one of country’s leading cosmetic nurses.
The Scottish Government has taken the step following the recommendations of the Scottish Cosmetic Interventions Expert Group which was set up to look at the best way to regulate the growing cosmetic sector. Edinburgh-based Jackie Partridge, who was appointed to the HIS Programme Board as a representative for the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN), says the law change is long overdue.
The new legislation will require independent clinics  – who provide non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as Botox®, dermal fillers, laser eye surgery as well as private midwives and private dental care professionals amongst others – to register with Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) from 1 April 2016 and from April 2017 they will inspected and subject to potential recommendations or enforcement action.
Partridge, who runs the award-winning Dermal Clinic in Edinburgh, said: “The BACN fully supports the actions of the Scottish Government and the expert group with regard to developing frameworks and standards in relation to the delivery of non-surgical cosmetic procedures.
“We believe that patient safety should always be the prime concern.There are many reputable clinics and practitioners in Scotland but, like any sector or industry, there exists some who do not maintain the highest of standards.
“While it is the case that private clinics who have nurses or doctors are already tightly regulated by their own governing bodies, the new regulation regime will provide people looking for treatments in these clinics with unprecedented levels of confidence and reassurance.”
Partridge, who was named Best Cosmetic Nurse at the 2015 Medical Cosmetic Awards and awarded Bronze for Best Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner in the UK at 2015 Aesthetic Awards, attended the HIS Programme board meetings to provide a voice on behalf of the cosmetic nursing industry in the development of the regulation programme for independent clinics in Scotland.
A series of awareness raising events have been held in the last two weeks in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen to allow private clinics to hear more about the legislation.
You Gov research commissioned by the Scottish Government showed that only 24% of Scots have a ‘fair amount of confidence’ in non-surgical cosmetic procedures. Sixteen per cent of Scottish adults who have not had a cosmetic procedure have considered doing so – 21 per cent for younger people. Four per cent of the population have had a cosmetic procedure.
A spokesperson for Healthcare Improvement Scotland said: “Healthcare Improvement Scotland has been regulating independent hospitals – including hospices and private psychiatric hospitals – in Scotland since 2011. New legislation now means Healthcare Improvement Scotland will also regulate independent clinics from 1 April 2016.
“The focus of regulation will be on ensuring safe, effective and high quality care for users of independent clinics across Scotland. Where appropriate, regulation and inspection will be used to drive up the standard of care in Scotland to the benefit of patients and the public.”
Clinics or independent practitioners that choose not to register with HIS will be in breach of the legislation and risk being reported to the Procurator Fiscal for prosecution.
Dermal Clinic, located in Church Hill Place, is one of Scotland’s leading cosmetic clinics with a team of high quality professionals dedicated to provide expert care for the face and body. It specialises in providing expert advice, solutions and services to help clients feel better about themselves – including treatments unique to Scotland.