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Helping define the shape of things to come

Code of Cosmetic Practice welcomed by surgeons – patient protection ‘Hippocratic’

London – 29 January, 2012 – The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons ( ), the only organisation based at the Royal College of Surgeons solely dedicated to the advancement of education and practice of aesthetic plastic surgery for public benefit, today welcomes the publication of the Professional Standards for Cosmetic Practice report by the Cosmetic Surgical Practice Working Group.

According to consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS President Rajiv Grover;

“At the BAAPS we welcome the Royal College of Surgeons’ appreciation of the urgent need for stricter controls in the cosmetic sector. This report is a step in the right direction and its content will have fed into the call for evidence of Sir Bruce Keogh’s review which will conclude, determining recommendations for a regulation framework, in March.”

The BAAPS would like requirements to go further than the document states, in regards to patient consultations. Rajiv explains;

“At the heart of a proper patient consultation lies fully informed consent; conveying the elements of medical and psychological assessment, treatment options, providing a realistic idea of likely outcome and possible risks is essential. For consent to really qualify as “informed consent” however, the BAAPS would go a stage further than this report and unambiguously specify that the consultations must only ever be with the surgeon who will actually carry out the procedure.”

Other areas in the sector require more clarity, which will be provided by new EU standards currently being finalised with the BAAPS’ input. Rajiv stresses that protecting the public is nothing more than ‘Hippocratic’, and argues that advertising does not contribute to patient safety;

“The regulation of which practitioner can carry out which procedure needs clarification: EU law has some bearing on this and direction is due from a Europe-wide CEN committee in which the UK and BAAPS has representation. The protection of the public at large is nothing more than the duty of the medical profession: to adhere to the Hippocratic Oath which states first do no harm. The marketing and advertising of cosmetic procedures is neither educating nor informing, but an exercise squarely aimed at achieving sales. This clearly puts economics ahead of patient care. Although the RCS report suggests tighter control of marketing in this area with a ban on such strategies as time-limited offers, again at the BAAPS we feel there is a need to go even further - the only way to fully protect the public is to have an outright ban on advertising, as seen in some European countries and which is also applicable to prescription medicines.”

Rajiv concludes;

“The entire aesthetics sector now awaits the delivery of the Keogh review, to establish future strategy for regulation and protection of the public – and we look forward to helping define the shape of things to come.”


The BAAPS (, based at the Royal College of Surgeons, is a not-for-profit organisation, established for the advancement of education and practice of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for public benefit. Members undergo thorough background screening before they can join. Information about specific procedures and surgeons’ contact details can be found on the website, or by contacting their office at 020 7430 1840. Further materials can be posted to members of the public seeking specialised information. BAAPS is also on Twitter: and Facebook:

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