Who really should be offering Cosmetic Injection treatments?
The legal situation is annoyingly simple. Pretty much anyone can offer Botox injections or Dermal Filler injectable treatments in the UK. Whereas most other parts of the world limit these treatments to only members of the medical profession. And yes, by that, I mean doctors. Those who have attended medical school.
The reason why this is not the case in the UK is largely historical. Almost since the inception of the NHS there haven’t been enough doctors or nurses to provide all the necessary care for the majority of patients. So in order to fill this gap nurses have been encouraged to ‘extend their roles’ to provide more traditionally medical areas of care. This was perceived as cheap by successive governments. Why pay for an expensive doctor when a nurse can do it for a whole load less money. This of course took nurses away from essential nursing duties and thus nursing auxiliaries were encouraged to act up and perform more nursing roles. This gradual cheapening of the service also changed perceptions of who should be providing these services.
Another example was with terminal care. There were simply not enough nurses employed to perform the regular injections of pain killers that were required. So it became necessary for nurses to be able to teach carers and relatives to perform the injections when the nurses were not available. So legally if it is alright for a community nurse to delegate a pain killing injection to an unqualified relative then it must also be legal for some “D grade” celebrity off a TV reality show to open up her own clinic to offer these highly lucrative treatments. Does this really seem like a good idea?
Botox Injections and dermal filler injections should not be dismissed as trivial and unimportant. They are comparatively safe but that does not mean entirely risk free. It is a reasonable suggestion that anyone offering these kinds of treatments should be able to handle all of the potential risks and side effects. This would seem hard to provide for someone with a one or two day course and no medical or health care background.
Unfortunately it’s very much the “Wild West” out there both in terms of who is doing treatments and in terms of who is providing training. There appears to be even less regulation over the training and many practitioners providing Botox Injections or Dermal Fillers appear to set up training schools within a year of learning the procedures themselves. This is entirely inappropriate.
People looked to the regulatory authorities to improve this situation but they could only police those who were registered on their lists. When some doctors were found to be offering “remote prescribing” for other practitioners this was declared as inappropriate and at least one doctor was removed from the GMC list.
How do you find an expert cosmetic injector?
So at the very least you should seek treatment from someone on one of the three main approved healthcare registers, The General Medical Council, The General Dental Council or the Nursing and Midwifery Council. At least then you can be assured of someone with a minimal background in patient care and hopefully some understanding of skin and facial anatomy.
But then you probably would do well to seek experience too. This is a fledgling speciality and new techniques and protocols are being developed regularly and these are usually developed by the most experienced injectors. It is definitely a case of practice makes perfect. Or at the very least practice makes pretty darn good.
This leads me to the next bugbear”Cost”. An awful lot of people looking for these kinds of treatments look pretty exclusively at cost. And it is fair to say that cost really aught to be the last criteria on your list. I was once approached by a patient for dermal fillers and after we had had the consultation I mentioned how much it would cost and there was a sharp intake of breath. She then stated that the previous person had done it for xx pounds. What was laughable was that the price she quoted was less than it costs me to buy the product. So it is often less for a perfectly good reason. Either they are using cheaper products or putting less in, or perhaps they are happy to hand out fivers……… No I guess not.
Many people learning how to do these treatments often think that the only way to get into the market is to be cheap. Which means that cheap is either someone with less experience, someone using inferior products or just someone putting less in.
An example I have often used in the past is that I can buy a pair of scissors from Wilco but that doesn’t make me a good hairdresser. It is not the scissors that are important it is the hand that is wielding the scissors that matters. For that you need a combination of appropriate qualifications, appropriate training, appropriate experience and most importantly the skills required to provide you with the best result possible.
That will almost never be the cheapest.
So to recap as an absolute minimum seek out a practitioner who is a health care professional registered either with the GMC, the GDC or the NMC. Look for personal recommendations and don’t be afraid to ask questions such as how long have you been doing this? How many procedures have you performed? Can you give me the phone number of any of your previous patients who I can talk too?
This is a group of treatments which can provide some very pleasing results with minimal risk but only when performed by an appropriate practitioner.
Might I suggest you start by checking out the website of the British College of Aesthetic Medicine where you can put in your post code and find a list of approved doctors near where you live.