The clinical negligence team at Blythe Liggins welcomes the proposals put forward by the Royal College of Surgeons to improve standards of care in cosmetic surgery.

Whilst a surgeon must be registered and licenced by the GMC to undertake cosmetic procedures, there is currently no requirement for the surgeon to prove their expertise within the relevant region of the body being operated on.

The Cosmetic Surgery Interspeciality Committee (‘CSIC’) set up by the Royal College of Surgeons in 2013 proposes that patients in the private sector should have access to clear, unbiased and credible information about their surgeon.

Caption: Lois Harrison, Chartered Legal Executive in the Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Team

Under the new proposals, the surgeons would have to show that they meet new standards of training in order to be certified and included on a register, which would be publicly accessible. This will enable the patient to obtain vital information on their surgeon and their area of expertise.

Certification would only permit surgeons in the private sector to undertake cosmetic surgery on the areas of the body that relates to the speciality they trained in.

The Chair of CSIC and Vice President of the Royal College of Surgeons, Mr Stephen Cannon, said:

“We are determined to ensure that there are the same vigorous standards for patients undergoing cosmetic surgery in the UK as other types of surgery. This Consultation provides the next step in establishing clear and high standards for training and practice so that all surgeons in the UK are certified to the same level, irrespective of where they trained”.

Lois Harrison, a Chartered Legal Executive in the Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Department at Blythe Liggins said “It is extremely encouraging to see that tighter regulation is being proposed in the field of private cosmetic surgery. The new system being put forward is only voluntary, however, and so this will limit the amount of protection it will provide to patients. The proposals are certainly a step in the right direction, however, and I hope that they will lead to a mandatory register to enable patients to ascertain their surgeon’s area of expertise before proceeding with them”.

Caption: Lois Harrison, Chartered Legal Executive in the Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Team

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