This September, a new Government-backed register of injectable cosmetic providers - TreatmentsYouCanTrust – will go live to the public to help anyone planning to have injectable cosmetic treatments, such as Botox® and Dermal Fillers, to choose a suitably qualified practitioner. Sally Taber, Director of the IHAS the organisation who developed the scheme, explains why it is necessary and how it will work.
Sally, tell us a bit about cosmetic injections.
An estimated half a million people are now having these treatments each year, to enhance their appearance. The most popular is Botox® which smoothes out lines on your face but there are also dermal fillers which make specific parts of your face, like your lips, look fuller and plumper.
Administered properly, the results can be fantastic, and that’s why they have become so popular. Unfortunately, this growing popularity has led to a rapid growth of providers, which, in turn, has fostered concerns for the escalating number of practitioners who are not appropriately qualified.
But things don’t always go right?
Unfortunately, no. It‘s very important that these treatments are administered properly, in hygienic clinical environments by appropriately qualified people. If not, things can go wrong with very visible and embarrassing short-term - and even long-term - results that are difficult to reverse. People shouldn’t put themselves at risk.
How does this happen?
Well, at one extreme we have all heard of Botox® parties with unqualified people giving injections in people’s homes. This is a recipe for disaster. There are also many unqualified people giving these injections in beauty salons. Before TreatmentsYouCanTrust launched, there was little guidance on who can give these treatments.
So, what can we do about this?
Well, there are lots of existing standards that together give patients protection, and we should only choose to have treatment from providers who meet these high standards. For example, practitioners should have the relevant qualifications to administer these types of injections. Premises should meet legal Health and Safety regulations. The Medicines Act 1968 must be taken into consideration when administering Botox®.as it is a prescription only medicine. The problem is, it's difficult for members of the public to know who meets all of these standards. That’s where TreatmentsYouCanTrust comes in.
How does this work?
Well, it's an easy way for people to check whether the provider they're planning to use meets all of these high standards. The IHAS will award a Quality Assurance Mark to any practitioner or organisation who can satisfy us that they meet a wide range of rigorous standards. Their details will then be entered on our register, which will be hosted on our website Treatments You Can Trust". The public can then check the register to find their local providers and clinics who meet these high standards. So, you just need to make sure that the provider or clinic you're thinking of choosing for these treatments has the Quality Assurance Mark and is on the IHAS Register of Injectable Cosmetic Providers. It’s very easy.
Sounds great. When will it be ready to use?
This is a new scheme, backed by the Department of Health, which we only launched in April 2010. We are currently processing all the applications for the Quality Mark, which takes time to make sure that they meet the high standards. Once we have registered the main providers we plan to publicise the register more widely later in the Summer. Then people can use it to make sure they get treatments they can trust from 13th September.