Ban on ‘luxury’ incentives sought
Thursday 26th September 2013, 12:02PM BST.
Cosmetic surgery clinics are still offering perks such as chauffeurs and package deals despite Government recommendations they should be banned.
More than half (52%) of the top 50 aesthetic plastic surgery providers ranked on Google still advertise promotional deals often tied in with freebies, photo shoots, competitions or holiday destinations.
The r esearch, published at the annual meeting of the British Association of Ae sthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) in London, found that many deals were also time-linked, with titles such as “book by Friday”.
Not one provider gave patients the recommended two-stage written consent cooling-off period.
A separate study looking into non-surgical treatments such as wrinkle-relaxing injections and dermal fillers, found 58% of the top 50 providers were offering incentives.
Some 32% did not say who actually administered the treatments and over a quarter (26%) made no mention of qualifications.
Sites where these facial procedures could take place included shopping centres, gyms and parties at home.
Only 22% of the procedures were offered in facilities registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
In April, a report from NHS medical director, Sir Bruce Keogh, following the PIP breast implant scandal, warned that advertising practices in the industry were highly misleading.
It said time-limited deals, financial inducements, package deals such as reduced prices for referring a friend and competition prizes were “socially irresponsible” and should be banned by professional codes of practice.
BAAPS president Rajiv Grover said: “This new, yet sadly unsurprising, evidence shows that despite the recommendations of Sir Bruce Keogh’s review, the most popular providers continue to advertise financial inducements and ‘luxury’ incentives, clearly reinforcing the preposterous notion that surgery is part of a celebrity-style status symbol involving photo shoots and chauffeur services.
“There is nothing glamorous about surgery and these serious (and irreversible) procedures should not be sold alongside aspirational perks as if they were part of a jet-setting lifestyle.”
A new Government-endorsed National Institute of Aesthetic Research (NIAR) has been set up by BAAPS and the Healing Foundation to establish scientific evidence on aesthetic procedures.
Sir Bruce Keogh said: ” I welcome the announcement from the Healing Foundation and BAAPS on the launch of the NIAR.
“This joint initiative is the first recommendation of my review to be implemented and I know it will provide a major contribution to patient safety.”
Health minister, Dr Dan Poulter, said: “The terrible stories that emerged from the PIP breast implant scandal revealed examples of extremely bad practice across the cosmetic industry.
“As a result we tasked Sir Bruce Keogh to review the industry, and his independent panel made some far-reaching recommendations.
“The Government agrees with the principles of Sir Bruce Keogh’s recommendations, and we are considering the report carefully and will put our detailed response to Parliament shortly.”