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Surgeons, Dermatologists say, "You're fired"

Professional societies jointly condemn BBC Apprentice winner’s business scheme

"Having a stab at running a business shouldn’t be taken literally”

London – 19 July, 2013 – The main professional bodies for plastic surgery and dermatology today jointly and unequivocally condemn BBC Apprentice winner Dr. Leah Totton’s ability to set up and run a chain of outlets offering injectable facial treatments such as Botox and fillers. Not only the British Association of Dermatologists (, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons ( and the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons ( but a whole host of high-profile clinicians have taken to social media in a Twitter storm* denouncing the junior doctor’s dangerously inadequate credentials for the project.


The extensive independent Review of Regulation on Cosmetic Interventions led by Sir Bruce Keogh (which issued its report earlier this year) highlighted problems within the nonsurgical cosmetic sector and called for urgent development of an accredited training framework by Health Education England. The recommendations of the Review were welcomed by specialist professional groups who emphasise patient and public safety must be put ahead of commercial interests. They continue to urge rapid Parliamentary approval in order to take the recommendations forward and ensure that proficient implementation and improved patient care is in place – but in the meantime, the public remain at risk.


Prof Chris Bunker, President of the British Association of Dermatologists states;

“We are seeing more and more complications at the hands of inadequately trained practitioners and counterfeit products. These adverse events can be permanent and life-ruining, and there are even reports of blindness being caused by inappropriate injection of fillers. Many patients require continued treatment and support on the NHS.”


According to Rajiv Grover, consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS President;

“What this debate needs is a strong injection of common sense – if Dr. Leah Totton were training to be a GP she would not be able to work unsupervised for another four years after qualifying. Yet in the private sector she is setting herself up to train others. Having a stab at running a business shouldn’t be taken literally.”


Mr Graeme Perks, President of the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) says;

“At a time when all professionals are collaborating with Sir Bruce Keogh to improve cosmetic surgery practice and protect the vulnerable, it is a concern that a very junior doctor can make claims to be an authority in this field and provide the direction and clinical judgement that only comes with experience.  The results of BBC Apprentice provide yet another demonstration of why Parliament must act fast.”


According to Dr. Tamara Griffiths, dermatology representative on the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) which has been developing EU-wide standards for cosmetic surgery;

“Dr Totton is a very junior doctor and her claim to be an expert in the field of cosmetic procedures may not measure up to the review by the European Committee for Standardisation, where international consensus has been reached regarding the imperative of adequate and accredited training.”


*The Twitter storm rages on…

Dr Ellie Cannon ‏@Dr_Ellie17  Jul

Disappointed an expert in his field chose an "expert" in her field who's been qualified as a doctor for under two years @bbcapprentice


Sue Ibrahim ‏@SkinSpecialist17  Jul

@DrLeah Totton  @Consulting_Room  @Lord_Sugar  Just get some dermatology experience before you claim to be an "expert" Leah.


James McDiarmid ‏@woodestate17 Jul (Plastic surgeon)

@Lord_Sugar best of luck in the hyper-saturated unregulated non-surgical aesthetic 'industry' it's not as easy as Dr Leah thinks...


Dr Christian Jessen ‏@DoctorChristian19h

I wonder if you know that there was a recent case of a patient rendered completely blind in one eye after having facial fillers...?


Dr Christian Jessen ‏@DoctorChristian19h

Alan Sugar has certainly not done patient safety and medical aesthetics any favours by promoting very junior doc 2 run Botox/filler clinics!


Nigel Poole ‏@NigelPooleQC1h

The irony. Key to raising standards in cosmetic procedures industry is to put an Apprentice in charge   …


Nigel Mercer ‏@NigelMercer22h  (Plastic surgeon, former BAAPS President)

@JAestheticNurse  @bbcapprentice If Lord Sugar is interested in regulation of the Aesthetic Industry he needs to know the harm he has done.


Nigel Mercer ‏@NigelMercer22h

@JAestheticNurse  @bbcapprentice  All Europe agrees his Apprentice is in adequately trained to be an aesthetic doctor


Nigel Poole ‏@NigelPooleQC21h

Keogh called for ban on giving cosmetic procedures as competition prizes. BBC gives cosmetic clinic as prize #ApprenticeFinal


Nigel Mercer ‏@NigelMercer15h

@DrLeahTotton  @Lord_Sugar  You 2 have single handed my destroyed all the work we have done to improve regulation in this market thro the BSI.


Val Ely‏@ValEly1  (Principal Lecturer, Head of NHS CPD, Non-medical Prescribing Lead and Accreditation of Prior Learning Coordinator)

@DrLeahTotton @Lord_Sugar You have got it so wrong!...

@Lord_Sugar  @curetheNHS Please don't let Botox doctor Leah be the apprentice winner. The NHS trained her for NHS not private practice.




About BAD

The British Association of Dermatologists is the central association of practising UK dermatologists. Our aim is to continually improve the treatment and understanding of skin disease. For further information about the charity, visit For media queries email or call 0207 391 6094.



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:

For all media enquiries, please contact




BAPRAS, the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, is the voice of plastic surgery in the UK. It aims to increase the understanding of the professional specialty and scope of plastic surgery, promoting innovation in teaching, learning and research.

Founded in 1946 (originally as the British Association of Plastic Surgeons), today BAPRAS has over 800 members and is the professional representative body for reconstructive and aesthetic plastic surgeons providing services to patients on the NHS and privately in the UK.

For more information please contact Luke Guinness or Laura Buller on 020 7403 2230 or 07711 444549, email

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