PRIVATE clinics in Scotland carrying out dental and other healthcare services, including non-surgical cosmetic interventions, are to be regulated from April 2016.
The Scottish Government has taken this step following the recommendations of the Scottish Cosmetic Interventions Expert Group, which was set up by ministers in January 2014 to look at the best way to regulate the growing cosmetic industry.
Healthcare Improvement Scotland will act as regulator for private clinics where services are provided by doctors, dentists, nurses, midwives and dental care professionals. Private hospitals offering cosmetic procedures that require surgery have been regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland since 2011. There is currently no regulation for the non-surgical cosmetic industry in the UK.
In recent years, non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as Botox, teeth whitening, laser eye surgery and dermal fillers have become increasingly popular. New research shows that four per cent of the population have had a cosmetic procedure but only 23 per cent of Scots have a "fair amount of confidence" in non-surgical cosmetic procedures. Sixteen per cent of Scottish adults who have not had a cosmetic procedure have considered doing so – 21 per cent among younger people.
Maureen Watt, Minister for Public Health, said: "Cosmetic procedures, both surgical and non-surgical, have increased massively in popularity over the last few years. As this research shows, many people are not aware that there is no regulation of independent clinics who provide non-surgical cosmetics procedures.
"There are many reputable practitioners in Scotland, but unfortunately there are others who do not live up to those high standards. That can lead to complications after procedures, sometimes leaving the customer with lasting injuries. By introducing a sound system of regulation and inspection we hope to reduce those instances."