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It's time to scrub up (the sector)

Surgeons welcome interim report but warn dangerous loopholes remain

London – 31 December, 2012 – The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (, the only organisation based at the Royal College of Surgeons solely dedicated to aesthetic (‘cosmetic’) plastic surgery, today welcomes an interim report from Sir Bruce Keogh’s inquiry into the sector, which confirms public approval for measures the Association has been calling for over the last decade. These include curbing aggressive sales techniques (including BOGOFs, prizes and time-limited deals) and providing better information for patients considering aesthetic procedures. A positive first step, the BAAPS accepts, but surgeons warn at least one dangerous loophole remains.

According to consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS President Rajiv Grover;

“Whilst we are delighted that the majority of the public agrees with what we have been saying for years – namely, that this largely unregulated sector leaves vulnerable people open to being taken advantage of through aggressive sales techniques – so far there is still a major, gaping loophole that has clearly not been addressed fully. In particular, the call for a ‘medical professional’ rather than ‘a salesperson’ to hold the initial consultation with prospective patients is a dangerously broad and inadequate definition. Unequivocally, the only person holding a consultation with a patient should be the surgeon who will be performing the procedure. Otherwise, the ‘professional’ could still be, for example, a nurse working on commission for practitioners based either here or even abroad. Recognised medico-legally, informed consent is essential for patient safety and only the surgeon carrying out the actual operation should be involved in the process. Achieving anything less at the end of this exercise would make a mockery of the review - if not an outright sham.”

The BAAPS have previously published the recommendations they made to the Government during the Call for Evidence: as well as a simple ‘Six-Point Plan’ for the regulation of the sector:

Rajiv Grover concludes:

“We’re pleased that the report – and public opinion – so strongly reflects our own views. We have made the comparison between cosmetic surgery being sold as a commodity, much as a washing machine or off-the-shelf beauty products, many times before. Medical procedures simply cannot continue to be promoted in this manner and although it is tragic that it has taken a crisis of the magnitude of PIP to make the world sit up and take notice, it seems we’re finally making headway towards a safer environment for patients. It’s time to scrub up and take action to restore confidence in our sector.”


About the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons
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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