Medical Aesthetics Industry: Regulation

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:20 pm on 14th May 2019.

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Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 4:20 pm, 14th May 2019

Yes, absolutely. I am committed to bringing forward legislation to do that at the earliest possible opportunity. I would really like to engage with the all-party parliamentary group to see what other conclusions they can bring forward quickly, so that we can make use of that legislation, to strengthen the opportunities to have a meaningful register, and indeed to look at the whole issue of insurance and what we should expect everyone involved in this to do.

I am open for debate, and I am absolutely committed to bringing the age restriction in line with things like tattoos and sunbeds. Frankly, it is ridiculous that there is an age limit for getting on a sunbed but anybody can have poison injected into their face. That is clearly ridiculous, and we need to tackle it.

We will encourage consumers to look at choosing a reputable practitioner and to properly interrogate the person doing the procedure, asking them about the risks. I am pleased that Superdrug, which has moved into this field, is having pre-screening conversations with clients and giving them cooling-off time before embarking on the treatment. I think that is really good practice and is something we could encourage throughout the industry, not least because it encourages practitioners to think about how they engage with their consumers and to properly understand the risks themselves.

We are moving into a new period of regulation of dermal fillers. My hon. Friend the Member for South Leicestershire is quite right that they are completely unregulated at present, but they will become regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, which will put them on a similar footing to Botox and will mean that they need to be given by the prescriber. He is right to highlight the risk of people being able to delegate that responsibility for prescribing, and again we should look at legislating on that. Clearly we could also ask the regulators of medics to look at that, because, frankly, delegating the responsibility for prescribing does not really seem consistent with patient safety. We need to look at that.

I am fast running out of seconds, so I will conclude by thanking my hon. Friend and all hon. Members for their interest in this subject. I hope that we all continue talking about this, so that we can take action quickly. This is massive area of risk for consumers and we need to take action to fix it.