Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:28 am on 16th October 2020.

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Photo of Luke Evans Luke Evans Conservative, Bosworth 10:28 am, 16th October 2020

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for pointing that out. He is absolutely right. The Bill and the medical profession cannot deal with this alone; it is a wider, societal problem. As Members have already hinted at, we are aware of that and it is incumbent on us as parents and in whatever other role we come into contact with young people to try to nurture them and take them through. They can aspire to a healthy image of themselves through eating well, exercising and interacting with other humans. That is what humans do, and we should aspire to do that through education, both in educational settings in the home and through contact with the medical profession.

I see the Bill as a step-wise piece of legislation. Both my hon. Friend Anthony Mangnall—I am pleased to see that he has remained in his seat, as I half expected him to pop up on the other side of the House or further down the Bench. It seems a little harsh to say “Where’s Wally?” at this stage, so I will not. Both my hon. Friends hinted at a really important point, which is the crux of the matter. Indeed, my hon. Friend the Member for Sevenoaks mentioned it in her speech and it needs to be highlighted. This is about accountability. That is the crucial part of any decision.

I want to break that point down into three areas: practitioners, businesses and patients. When someone goes to see a practitioner, they need to know that they are qualified in what they do, that they can deliver it to a high standard and that, if something goes wrong, they can be held to account. At the moment, the industry is unregulated, and that is a real problem which means that the NHS becomes the carer of last resort.

Businesses have a responsibility as regards promotion. They should be held accountable when they put undue pressure on people who are unsure or exploring what they want to find out about the industry. That goes for adults as well as for young people under the age of 18. When businesses are set up, there should be some form of redress should they not perform to the expected standards. After all, let us think what would happen if we had unregulated operations. If someone needs to have a cyst removed, we do not allow them to walk in off the street and have it taken out by someone with no accountability or training. The principle is the same. The only difference is that rather than something being taken out, something is being put in. It is a big concern for me.