McMillan welcomes moves to regulate cosmetic procedures after raising issue with First Minister

Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Stuart McMillan has welcomed proposals to regulate non-surgical services after first raising the issue with the Scottish Government almost two years ago.

Non-healthcare professionals will require a licence to carry out cosmetic procedures such as dermal fillers or lip enhancements under proposals being put forward by the Scottish Government.

The aim is to provide assurance for people who choose to have procedures that pierce or penetrate the skin carried out by non-healthcare professionals in premises such as aesthetic clinics, beauty salons, hairdressers and other similar locations.

The Scottish Government is seeking people’s views on these proposals through their Consultation on the Regulation of Non-Surgical Cosmetic Procedures in Scotland.

A constituent who expressed concern about patient safety first contacted Stuart in April 2018 about the lack of regulation surrounding cosmetic procedures.

Stuart then wrote to Shona Robison MSP, who was Health Secretary at the time, asking the Scottish Government to investigate the “legislative gap” that enabled unregulated individuals to perform cosmetic procedures without necessarily possessing the appropriate qualifications.

In her response, Ms Robison expressed equal concern about “non medically trained individuals providing services such as lip enhancement or administering Botox injections when they are not suitably qualified or trained”, and confirmed that officials were working towards Phase 2 of the regulation of independent clinics. This would focus on cosmetic procedures provided by non-health professionals within non-regulated sites such as a salon.

While Stuart appreciated that the Scottish Government was looking into the matter, on 31 October 2019 he raised the issue again – this time during First Ministers Questions.

In response to his question asking what action the Scottish Government is taking to improve the regulation of the cosmetic surgery industry in Scotland, the First Minister stated:

“Scotland was the first country in the UK, back in April 2016, to introduce any form of statutory regulation of cosmetic surgery. As a result, an independent clinic providing cosmetic procedures run by a doctor, dentist, nurse, midwife or dental technician is required to be registered and inspected by Healthcare Improvement Scotland.”

Ms Sturgeon added:

“Cosmetic procedures that are provided by non-healthcare professionals within non-regulated sites are currently not subject to the same level of scrutiny as those that are undertaken by medically qualified healthcare professionals…The Scottish cosmetic interventions expert group is developing a range of options to regulate the sector. I advise Stuart McMillan that the group will put forward proposals very soon, with a view to holding a public consultation process on the options by the end of this year.”

Commenting on the announcement, Stuart said:

“I first highlighted the need for further regulation of cosmetic procedures that are carried out by non-healthcare professionals almost two years ago after a constituent made me aware of the issue.

“While I was pleased to hear that the Health Secretary was aware of the matter and the Scottish Government was seeking to further regulate facial aesthetic procedures, I raised the issue again at FMQs last year to get an update on these efforts.

“I therefore welcome this consultation, which is seeking views on the need for further statutory regulation to ensure the safety of people considering or undergoing non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

“These proposals show that this SNP Scottish Government is committed to patient safety and want to ensure that all those who carry out non-surgical procedures, such as dermal fillers or lip enhancements, are competent and that the treatments take place in safe and hygienic premises.

“I encourage everyone with an interest in this subject to participate in the consultation so as many views can be heard on the matter.”

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