Calls for dermal fillers to be prescription only as MPs warn public is being put at risk of harm

·3-min read

Dermal fillers should be prescription only - and providers should be legally required to have regulated qualifications in order to perform invasive procedures, a group of MPs have said.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing has warned the public is being put at risk of harm and that the current situation "cannot continue".

It has been recommended that customers must have a face-to-face consultation with an on-site medical professional before procedures like lip fillers, and any treatment must be overseen by the same practitioner to ensure they can provide remedial treatment if necessary.

A Sky News investigation earlier this month uncovered rampant substandard training in the industry that is leaving practitioners unable to practice safely and short of thousands of pounds in some cases.

The group's co-chair, Carolyn Harris, told Sky News that those currently practising without accreditation or offering training not recognised by an existing industry body should be made to stop immediately.

She said: "The government needs to work fast with the bodies to introduce proper training and resources to help the industry move forward."

The group is calling for the government to establish a national licensing scheme to govern the oversight of non-surgical cosmetic treatments, which would mark the end of a minimal regulatory system that is "fragmented, obscure and out of date".

Other recommendations include the introduction of advertising restrictions on dermal fillers.

Ms Harris and her fellow co-chair Judith Cummins said: "For too long there have been next to no limits on who can carry out aesthetic treatments, what qualifications they must have, or where they can administer them. Maintaining the status quo is not an option."

Their report also says all clients should undergo mandatory psychological pre-screening before undergoing treatment, and it should be compulsory for practitioners to have insurance.

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The news was welcomed by industry experts, many of whom have been campaigning for tighter regulations in the industry for years.

But some felt that the recommendations do not go far enough.

Professor David Sines from the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners said: "I welcome the APPG report, and I would urge the health minister, Nadine Dorries MP, to act on the recommendations as quickly as possible.

"It is clear, however, that the government needs to go further.

It is increasingly apparent that at this time high-risk procedures, like the injection of toxins and the insertion of dermal fillers should only be administered by healthcare professionals who have the necessary skills, qualifications and competence in these areas."

Ms Dorries said: "This report is an important contribution to our shared understanding of the consequences of this kind of treatment and I look forward to reviewing its recommendations on how we continue to improve people's safety.

"Anyone considering botox, or fillers, should pause and take the time they need to consider the potential impact of surgery on both their physical and mental health, and take steps to ensure they are using a reputable, safe and qualified practitioner."

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