Cosmetic patients urged to question doctors

PATIENTS thinking of having cosmetic treatment are being urged to question their doctors in new guidance from the GMC.

It follows tough new standards for doctors carrying out cosmetic procedures published by the regulator in April.

This latest advice encourages patients to keep in mind key points, using the acrostic "cosmetic": consent, openness, safety, marketing, experience, time, information, and costs.

The guide highlights the importance of personally speaking to the doctor who will carry out the procedure, and ensuring you are given enough time to make a decision. Doctors must be open and honest about their skills, experience, fees and any conflicts of interest.

The procedure must take place in a safe environment and patients must be given clear information about what to expect, including aftercare.

GMC chair Professor Terence Stephenson said: "While doctors offering cosmetic interventions now have tough standards they must follow, this shouldn’t deter potential patients from asking questions about any aspect of their care, treatment and support.

"We hope [this guidance] empowers people to take more time, do more research or even walk away if they aren’t fully confident in any part of the cosmetic intervention they are being offered."

The GMC is asking private cosmetic clinics across the UK to display their guidance for patients.

In addition to the COSMETIC acrostic, the GMC have published a short guide Cosmetic procedures: what do I need to know? on their website