Botox or filler providers could need licences under new government plans

The government is pushing for providers of botox or fillers to be licensed, so patients can be protected from botched cosmetic procedures.

Under new plans, the health secretary would be given the power to introduce a licensing regime for this type of work in England.

The licence could require certain standards in hygiene and safety, although further details will be decided with the help of "extensive engagement, including a public consultation", the Department for Health and Social Care said.

The licensing idea is included in an amendment to the Health And Care Bill, which will be tabled today.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: "While most of those in the aesthetics industry follow good practice when it comes to patient safety, far too many people have been left emotionally and physically scarred after botched cosmetic procedures.

"I am committed to protecting patient safety by making it an offence for someone to perform these cosmetic procedures without a licence.

"We're doing all we can to protect patients from potential harm, but I urge anyone considering a cosmetic procedure to take the time to think about the impact on both their physical and mental health and ensure they are using a reputable, safe and qualified practitioner."

Social media driving demand for procedures

Minister for Patient Safety Maria Caulfield said the spread of images online via social media has led to a rise in demand for botox and fillers.

She said: "While these can be administered safely, we are seeing an unacceptable rise in people being left physically and mentally scarred from poorly-performed procedures.

"Today's amendment is the next step on the road to effective regulation of non-surgical cosmetic procedures in England."

It is already illegal to give treatments such as botox and fillers to those aged under 18.

Adverts for cosmetic procedures which target people in that age group are also banned, including on social media, influencer advertising, and traditional advertising.