An Edinburgh clinic has become the first in Scotland to sign up to a new legislation which is designed to safeguard people who undergo cosmetic procedures such as Botox and laser eye surgery.
Dermal Clinic is now established as the flagbearer for the cosmetic industry in Scotland after it was confirmed as the first practice to have successfully ‘registered’ with Healthcare Improvement Scotland.
The new legislation – requires independent clinics, where doctors and nurses provide surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures, such as Botox®, dermal fillers, or laser eye surgery as well as dentists, midwives and dental care professionals to register with Healthcare Improvement Scotland by April 2017.
Registered clinics will enjoy numerous benefits including having the opportunity to demonstrate the high standards to which they operate, they have the necessary safety measures are in place and reassure patients that regular independent inspections are carried out by Healthcare Improvement Scotland. This will go a long way to improve consumer confidence and that the treatment they are receiving is continually improving.
Registration for independent clinics opened on 1 April, and since then 258 services across Scotland have responded to say they require to register and they are completing their application to register. HIS estimates that there are around 500 independent clinics in Scotland which must register.
Dermal Clinic founding director Jackie Partridge, who was appointed to the HIS Programme Board as a representative for the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN) to provide a voice for nursing stakeholders affected by the law change, said being the first clinic to register sets an important precedent for others in the sector to follow.
Jackie said: “The new legislation for independent clinics is vital to ensure the best care is carried out in the safest environment for every patient.
“Everyone at Dermal Clinic has worked extremely hard to complete the application so I’m delighted we have been announced as the first in Scotland to successfully register.
“While Dermal Clinic can now provide an added layer of reassurance to our clients, we hope our actions will inspire a stampede of other clinics to go forward and ensure they register.”
Jackie, 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 Healthcare Improvement Scotland programme board meetings to provide a voice on behalf of the cosmetic nursing industry in the development of the regulatory approach for independent clinics in Scotland.
She added: “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 that do not maintain the highest of standards.
“While it is the case that independent clinics who have nurses or doctors are already tightly regulated by their own governing bodies, the new regulation regime will provide people who are looking for treatments in these clinics with unprecedented levels of confidence.”
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. 16% of Scottish adults who have not had a cosmetic procedure have considered doing so – 21% for younger people. 4% of the population has had a cosmetic procedure.
Healthcare Improvement Scotland has been regulating independent hospitals, which includes hospices and private psychiatric hospitals in Scotland since 2011. The new legislation now means HIS also regulates all independent clinics.
Kevin Freeman-Ferguson, a Senior Inspector with HIS said: “We’re delighted that Edinburgh’s Dermal Clinic is the first clinic to be registered with Healthcare Improvement Scotland. It is now a legal requirement for all independent clinics to be registered with us before 31 March 2017.
“Dermal Clinic have not been slow to recognise the importance of registering with us and the benefits this will bring for their clients. Registration has been introduced in Scotland to help improve safety for those people who use independent clinics and to ensure that clinics continue to improve the services that they provide.
“We look forward to welcoming many more clinics between now and the end of March.”
Once a service is registered with Healthcare Improvement Scotland, it will be subject to regular inspections after which a report of the inspection will be published in which the clinic’s performance will be graded on the quality of care, environment, staffing, management and information. Members of the public who are unhappy with the services they have received from a registered independent clinic can also complain to Healthcare Improvement Scotland.
The providers of independent clinics that choose not to register with HIS will be in breach of the legislation and risk being reported to the Procurator Fiscal for prosecution.