Health Reform for Beauty Treatment

Beauty treatment in its widest sense covers a vast range of services and products in the UK which are classed as ways of changing and improving how people look and how they feel about themselves.

Traditionally the beauty industry, and it is still how it is defined today, comprised of hairdressing and beauty services such as skin care, cosmetic make-up services, massage, manicures and pedicures.

The more comprehensive scope of all that is entailed in beauty related services and products includes aspects such as cosmetic surgery, cosmetic dentistry, non-surgical procedures such as Botox injections, hair replacement, body art including piercing along with hairdressing and the current standard beauty salon treatments.

Continuous change

The various sectors of this industry are in a state if continuous change as demand increases for specific services and new services and products come onto the market. Regulation and control however has not been keeping pace with the changes and developments in the market and there is real concern from the medical profession with regards to the potential adverse effects on people’s health and wellbeing.

Beauty therapy in its traditional sense provided by trained beauticians covering non-invasive applications and treatments works well within current guidelines and on the whole provides safe and popular services to the general public.

Controls and standards

Any type of service, treatment or therapy that results in an invasive procedure to the body no matter how slight requires Government regulation and control to protect the public’s safety and health.

In addition to the concerns over managing the expansion and development of the beauty treatment industry in general, there is widespread debate within the medical profession over the current state of cosmetic surgery, the requirements for reform and improvement of standards and control, along with dilemmas of the allocation of limited resource in the NHS to an ever growing demand for cosmetic surgery services.

Recent health scares over procedures and safety controls have highlighted the need for action at Government level to introduce a program of reform to protect the public and to enable the industry to continue to develop and improve within a structured framework.

The demands for cosmetic surgery

As the demands for cosmetic surgery continue to grow it is important that women and men are informed, empowered and protected. The growth in cosmetic procedures in recent years has been substantial with an interesting insight to current trends showing nine out of ten procedures consisting of Botox and dermal fillers.

The lack of current regulation however has allowed unqualified and unregulated service providers to spring up, many motivated by the easy money to be earned.

The costs of cosmetic surgery

Cosmetic surgery covers a wide range of procedures and so prices vary accordingly. At the upper end prices reach many thousands of pounds and people often pay through credit plans or incur debt in the form of loans, increased overdrafts and even through charging their credit cards.

Levels of debt taken out to fund cosmetic surgery therefore can be substantive and if multiple procedures are funded in this way then it can very quickly mount up and has been known to cause financial difficulties. In accordance with best advice from debt management organisations we send a note of caution to anyone considering borrowing in order to finance cosmetic surgery procedures to seek professional debt help and advice before doing so.

If you find yourself in the position where you are experiencing financial difficulties due to the level of debt taken on to pay for cosmetic surgery, or indeed have debt problems for any reason, then it’s important to seek professional debt advice as soon as possible. An expert debt advisor will advise you on the range of debt solutions on the market with options to consider such as a debt management plan, a debt consolidation loan or an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement). The key to an effective solution is to take action and not procrastinate as the problem won’t go away by itself.

Effecting change

We are here to highlight and inform. We will report on current problems and areas of concern within the industry and look at the programs and legislation to effect change.

Effective change will need the support of the organisations operating within the industry along with the many pressure groups, review committees and Government bodies. We will advise where we see examples of good practice and initiatives for improvement. One such organisation is Health Matters Glasgow who not only provide specialist beauty therapy services but also offer a selection of professional health care providers that gives an integrated and comprehensive service to meet all of one’s health and wellbeing requirements.

Our objective is to influence the development of this hugely important industry in a positive way to ensure, first and foremost, the safety and protection of the general public but also the prospects of the service providers so that standards of service provision and new developments continue to improve for the benefit of all.

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An informed and empowered public

There has been a strong and clear response to the recent public consultation on the cosmetic surgery industry to provide a stronger regulatory framework for hard-line and inappropriate sales and marketing methods.

Tighter controls on advertising
The conclusion of the report is that current controls don’t do enough to protect the rights of consumers or ensure a quality of care and safety for patients. Tighter controls on advertising of cosmetic surgery were called for along with a cessation on financial inducements and deals with time deadlines that placed unfair pressure on consumers.

Procedures and consultations need improved
It has also been proposed that pre-consultation practices be revised to ensure that the expected outcomes of procedures are presented in a more balanced way and that the potential downsides and associated risks are fully and properly explained.

Inform and empower
There is a real need and requirement for people to be given better information and clear and appropriate advice. It is also important that additional safeguards be introduced to protect vulnerable people.

It is expected that the Royal College of Surgeons, who are responsible for surgical standards in the UK, will be involved in the change process to review aspects such as patient consent procedures, evidence based patient information methods and a wide range of patient quality and safety improvement initiatives.