Plastic surgery faces tighter curbs
A ban on cut-price deals and a clampdown on aggressive sales techniques for cosmetic surgery are among ideas submitted to a review of the industry ordered in the wake of the PIP breast implant scandal.
A two-stage consent process for potential patients to allow them time to reflect before making a final decision were among suggestions given to the review into the plastic surgery industry being led by Sir Bruce Keogh, the NHS medical director.
The ideas from the public, the industry and patient groups to safeguard people thinking of having cosmetic procedures are included in an interim report that will feed into the review, due to be published in March.
The report was welcomed by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) - which also said its proposals would need some tightening up if they were to be implemented.
Science writer Vivienne Parry, who is one of the Keogh review committee members, said: "Aggressive marketing techniques are often used to maximise profit. This may be the right approach for selling double glazing but not for people having or considering whether to have surgery.
"Everyone who decides to have cosmetic surgery should have time to think about the risks. Time limited deals and offers on voucher websites pressure people to make snap decisions."
The review was requested by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley last January after concerns about cosmetic surgery were raised following the public outcry over faulty PIP breast implants and could lead to tighter regulation of the industry.
Around 40,000 women in the UK received implants manufactured by the now-closed French company Poly Implant Prostheses (PIP), mostly in private UK clinics.
The implants were filled with non-medical grade silicone intended for use in mattresses.
The expert panel includes PIP campaigner Catherine Kydd, former medical director of Bupa Andrew Vallance-Owen, GP and television medical commentator Dr Rosemary Leonard and editor of Marie Claire magazine Trish Halpin.