Guidance for doctors who offer cosmetic interventions: My take

It’s 24 pages long and fairly repetitive so I have read the GMC’s “Guidance for doctors who offer cosmetic interventions” (12th April 2016) and reflected here on its significance for me; a cosmetic practitioner, a cosmetic trainer and a prescriber for others who use ‘Botox’.

Download the full guidance

You may be employed by a cosmetic clinic or more likely, acting in a self-employed role, undertaking work for a clinic, so you might consider yourself as not being ‘the boss’. But, a point that these guidelines reinforce is that if you are a doctor and you work alongside another member of staff in the provision of medical treatments, you are their supervisor and the care of patients you have prescribed Botox for, has been delegated by you to your colleague.

Here’s what I’ll be clarifying with anyone I prescribe for and also what I’ll be checking with colleagues in future before I start working for them in a prescriber role:

  • I would like a copy of their training course certificate and evidence of insurance
  • I will make it understood that written consent of the particular procedure is the responsibility of the person carrying out that procedure
  • As a doctor I must not put my interests or loyalties or the interests or loyalties of the clinic, ahead of patient safety
  • Treatments must not be given out as prizes OR in discounted sales that might pressure a patient to receive a treatment now rather than waiting and considering it further
  • I will provide patients with a way of contacting me should they be concerned regarding any of the following
    • Lack of adequate consent process (including discussion about potential side effects, complications and what will happen if there is a failure to achieve the desired cosmetic outcome, including potential follow-up costs (if any)
    • Side effects or complications not dealt to their satisfaction
    • Lack of aftercare advice

Although the GMC clearly relates to doctors, there is strong precedence that the GDC will make a similar statement for dentists – so this might equally apply to the relationship whereby a dentist prescribes for a dental hygienist or therapist.

Note that I have asked my insurer for advice on doctors and dentists prescribing for Beauty Therapists with NVQ level 3 (who can now receive certification for Botox & Fillers following completion of an assessment-based 4 day course), and I await their response. I’ll post it here once I receive it.