Thursday, 28 April 2016

RCS Publishes New Professional Standards for Cosmetic Surgery, Endorsed by the CQC

The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has published new Professional Standards for Cosmetic Surgery, which set out the standards of good practice expected of all surgeons who perform cosmetic surgery. The guidance addresses key areas of risk such as communication, consent and professional behaviour, and is intended to improve patient safety and standards of care.

The RCS has been working with the General Medical Council (GMC), which has published its own set of professional standards for doctors carrying out cosmetic procedures to make sure they too provide the best possible care for patients. The GMC standards will come into force in June 2016 and will make clear the ethical obligations that doctors have towards patients.

The CQC has agreed to take into account both the RCS and GMC standards during their inspections and when making a judgement about the quality and safety of services being provided.

This will include taking into account whether registered providers have implemented effective systems so that:

· Surgeons performing cosmetic surgery are skilled and experienced in the area in which they practise.

· The operating surgeon leads the consultation with the patient to ensure they are fully informed and to outline the risks of the procedure, the likely outcome and provide the information that will help them decide whether or not to undergo surgery.

· The operating surgeon is the person who will obtain written consent from the patient. It will not be delegated to a colleague or other person.

· Consent is obtained in a two-stage process with a cooling-off period of at least two weeks between the stages to allow the patient to reflect on the decision.

· Appropriate indemnity insurance is in place to cover the procedures being undertaken.

· Financial inducements such as time-limited offers and discounts are not used or promoted.

The CQC regulates all independent clinics and hospitals that provide cosmetic surgery. They regulate cosmetic treatments that involve any instrument or equipment (such as an implant) being inserted into the body.

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