Scotland was the first country in the UK, back in April 2016, to introduce any form of statutory regulation of cosmetic surgery. As a result, an independent clinic providing cosmetic procedures run by a doctor, dentist, nurse, midwife or dental technician is required to be registered and inspected by Healthcare Improvement Scotland.
In addition, we have been working with the General Medical Council to introduce a framework for the credentialing of medical skills, including a credential in cosmetic surgery, in collaboration with the Royal College of Surgeons. That would apply across the UK, and we expect it to be approved in the near future.
The First Minister might be aware that I previously raised the need for regulation of facial aesthetic procedures on behalf of a concerned constituent and a practitioner. I understand that work on phase 2 of the regulation of independent clinics is very much under way. Can the First Minister advise me when those forthcoming regulations will come forward for public consultation?
I recognise that Stuart McMillan has raised this issue before, and I thank him for doing so. Cosmetic procedures that are provided by non-healthcare professionals within non-regulated sites are currently not subject to the same level of scrutiny as those that are undertaken by medically qualified healthcare professionals.
As Stuart McMillan observed, that is being addressed in phase 2 of our work on the regulation of independent clinics, which seeks to ensure a similar level of safety and assurance for those sites.
The Scottish cosmetic interventions expert group is developing a range of options to regulate the sector. I advise Stuart McMillan that the group will put forward proposals very soon, with a view to holding a public consultation process on the options by the end of this year.