The General Medical Council have issued new guidance for doctors who provide cosmetic interventions to ensure that they provide the best possible care for patients.

Cosmetic intervention includes any intervention, procedure or treatment carried out with the primary objective of changing an aspect of a patient’s physical appearance.

The guidance has been issued as a result of a report by Professor Sir Keogh into cosmetic surgery in England who highlighted the risks associated with cosmetic interventions and how patients need greater protection.

Professor Terence Stephenson of the GMC said, “It is a challenging area of medicine which deals with patients who can be extremely vulnerable. Most doctors who practise in this area do so to a high standard but we do sometimes come across poor practice and it is important that patients are protected from this”.

The guidance makes clear the ethical obligations doctors have towards patients and the standard of care they need to provide. It includes ensuring that doctors: –

• Market their services responsibly;

• Seek a patient’s consent themselves rather than delegate this to somebody else;

• Give patients all of the time and information they need so that they can make a voluntary and
informed decision about whether to go ahead;

• Take particular care when considering requests for interventions on children and young people;

• Consider patients’ vulnerabilities and psychological needs when making decisions with them about
treatment options.

Lois Harrison, a Lawyer in the Medical Negligence team at Blythe Liggins said, “This new guidance is a welcome step towards providing patients with clear information before undergoing such procedures. There has been an alarming lack of safeguards in this area in the past and I am pleased to see that the issue has been highlighted and steps are being taken to help consumers”.

If you believe that you may have received inadequate cosmetic intervention the medical negligence team at Blythe Liggins will be more than happy to assist.

Caption: Lois Harrison, Chartered Legal Executive – Medical Negligence Team

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