Medical Aesthetics Industry: Regulation

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:00 pm on 14th May 2019.

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Photo of Alberto Costa Alberto Costa Conservative, South Leicestershire 4:00 pm, 14th May 2019

My hon. Friend is correct. I am sorry to learn of the incidents he heard about from his constituent at his surgery. I had a similar matter. Indeed, that is what prompted me to champion this issue, along with other hon. Members.

I pay tribute to the Minister at this early stage of the debate. The welcome moves that she has introduced today, by coincidence, are exactly the sort of moves we want; they are on the right path. Today, we are arguing for more, and I am confident she is in listening mode.

Save Face, a Government-approved register for accredited practitioners, highlighted in its audit report last year that it had received just under 1,000 complaints about unregistered practitioners. This register is not compulsory and there are thousands of practitioners who have chosen not to sign up. The mark of a professional is someone who is regulated, qualified and licensed. They do not need to be a medic or a nurse to be able to be regulated, qualified or licensed to practice in this field. In the private sector, professionals such as solicitors—I declare an interest, as I am a solicitor—are regulated, have to be qualified and have to have an annual licence. Most importantly, they are obligated to carry professional indemnity insurance. That marks out those who are professionals and those who are not. That is why we urgently need a professional regulatory body for this industry.

Let me give a simple example. As a nation of animal lovers, we would not consider taking a cat, a dog or even a hamster to an unregulated vet to have an injection. Therefore, why are we allowing our constituents to have the option of going to someone who is unregulated to have potential poison injected into them, as my hon. Friend Mr Evans mentioned?