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MyBreast welcome the GMC Announcement regarding guidance surrounding cosmetic surgery standards

Posted on April 13, 2016

Professor Terence Stephenson, Chair of the General Medical Council (GMC) * states that doctors who carry out cosmetic procedures anywhere in the UK are being issued with new guidance by the GMC to make sure they provide the best possible care for patients.

The guidance makes clear the ethical obligations doctors have towards patients and the standards of care they need to provide. It highlights the need for a “cooling off period” before undergoing any kind of cosmetic surgery, also highlighted in Professor Sir Bruce Keogh’s report the ‘Think Over Before You Make Over’ campaign last year.

Norman Waterhouse, Founding Surgeon of MyBreast and a campaigner for greater patient protection in the cosmetic surgery industry said following the announcement “choosing a plastic surgeon can be a difficult and confusing process. It is important to know what represents excellence in training and experience. We believe that this should be available to all and we strive to provide patients with affordable excellence.”

So what does this new GMC Guidance in the Cosmetic Surgery Industry mean?

The new GMC guidance comes into force from June, and covers both surgical (such as breast augmentation) and non-surgical (such as Botox) procedures.

The guidance stresses that Doctors must:

  • Advertise and market services responsibly – any advertising must be clear, factual, and not use promotional tactics, such as ‘two-for-one’ offers to encourage patients to make ill-considered decisions. It also includes a ban on offering procedures as prizes or offering incentives or discounts to rush or pressurise a decision to proceed.
  • Give patients time for reflection – make sure they have the time and information about risks, to decide whether to go ahead with a procedure.
  • Seek a patient’s consent themselves – the doctor carrying out a cosmetic procedure is responsible for discussing it with the patient and for obtaining their consent. This responsibility must not be delegated.
  • Provide continuity of care – the doctor must make sure patients know who to contact and how their care will be managed if they experience any complications after the procedure.
  • Making full and accurate records of consultations, using systems to identify and act on any patient safety concerns, and contributing to programmes to monitor quality and outcomes, including registers for devices such as breast implants.
  • Patients considering whether to have such a procedure need honest and straightforward advice which allows them to understand the risks as well as the possible benefits.

MyBreast hope these important guidelines will put a STOP to poor practice such as consultations being carried out by nurses or at worse sales people and it is important that patients are protected from this and that doctors understand what is expected from them. All initial MyBreast consultations are always carried out by a patient’s operating surgeon.

Find out more about MyBreast by calling 0843 634 4816 or book a consultation.

*The General Medical Council (GMC) is an independent organisation that helps to protect patients and improve medical education and practice across the UK.