Cosmetic Surgery or Consumerism?
There’s been an update on GMC guidelines, and this is what we think…
Cosmetic surgery has become synonymous with consumerism, with more and more patients considering aesthetic treatments in the same way they would getting their hair cut or spending a day at the spa. This idea that surgery can be squeezed into a lunch break, or scheduled just days after consultation, needs to stop. The public should be educated on the seriousness of these treatments. Surgery is surgery, no matter what the motive is.
As an aesthetic clinic on Harley Street, we often struggle with managing patients’ expectations. With pressure from the media to fulfil unrealistic goals of anti-ageing, the lack of regulations in the cosmetic sector, and voucher sites offering discounted procedures, it is not hard to see why we are up against this trend.
Patients want treatment that will miraculously cure them of their concerns, expecting an appointment in between meetings or to fit surgery in before their holidays, not to mention at the lowest possible rate. How can clinics compete with this?
Pressure to Deliver
The answer is simple: they cannot. Some clinics try to, churning out patients like they are on a conveyor-belt, offering rock bottom prices to attract patients. While the price might draw patients in, they are not always seeing medical professionals for their treatment, or even experienced practitioners. Patients then receive sub-standard treatment.
We are all accustomed to the nightmare stories in tabloid newspapers and it is easy to see why, when the government intervene so little in this area, deeming it to be excessive and unnecessary. So who looks out for these patients?
The General Medical Council (GMC) are an independent body which aims to safeguard patients and uphold high standards of practice in medicine. They draw up a register for medical professionals to join, proving they are medical qualified and trained in the areas which they claim to be. Practitioners are to follow their strict guidelines and may come under investigation if they mistreat or deliver treatment which may cause harm to or compromise patients’ well-being. They may even be struck off the register.
“Cool Off” Period
In their most recent guideline updates, the GMC guidelines have stated that clinics are to give patients a ‘cool off’ period of 4 weeks, stating that the previous 2 week rule is not long enough for patients to come to an informed, educated decision. And we couldn’t agree more at PHI Clinic. It is down to this ‘squeezing in’ business why the general public are starting to believe treatment is commonplace, and the procedure is just as aesthetically pleasing as the result.
GMC Register: There to Protect You
The GMC register is a great source of information for patients looking to have cosmetic procedures, offering a guide on who is a verified practitioner, and their qualifications. It is important to note that some people who are administering treatment, including beauticians, will not be on the register, but may still be performing treatments such as injectables and laser procedures. It is paramount that we raise awareness to ensure patients receive safe, trustworthy advice and treatment.
For more information about the topics covered in this blog, or about cosmetic procedures in general, please call 0207 034 5999 to speak with a member of our in house staff.