An MP is calling for a change in the law to require anyone having cosmetic surgery to be offered counselling before going under the knife.

In a speech to the House of Commons highlighting the plight of one of his constituents Kevan Jones, who is the Labour MP for North Durham, accused the cosmetic surgery industry of exploiting people, ruining lives and leaving the tax payer to foot the bill. He referred to clinics that have celebrity endorsements and challenged the celebrities involved ‘to examine their consciences’ about their association with an industry that is under regulated and allows patients to be operated on by unqualified, untrained and uninsured practitioners.

Mr Jones pointed out to the House that even the ‘plumber who comes to fix someone’s kitchen sink is more heavily regulated than someone who is allowed to operate on your body.’ He explained that the law permits any qualified doctor, not simply surgeons, to undertake cosmetic surgery, without additional training or qualifications. There is a need, he said, for more robust regulation of private cosmetic surgery clinics.

He also supported The Royal College of Surgeons in its recommendation that the GMC should be given legal powers to recognise additional medical qualifications which can be publicly displayed. This, he hopes, will at least enable consumers to distinguish the competent cosmetic surgeons from the ‘cowboys’.

There was criticism too of the Government for failing to implement the legislation drafted by the Law Commission following the PIP breast implant scandal. He called upon the Minister to account for this inaction in circumstances where the proposed new law would receive widespread cross-party support in the House.

Kevan Jones went on to draw attention to the implications for our beleaguered NHS which is having to treat the victims of botched cosmetic surgery, asking if it is right for the taxpayer to pick up the tab while clinics and surgeons “are making absolute fortunes out of people’s misery?” He said we need to look into how the NHS can recover the cost of the treatment when things go wrong.

Mr Jones was scathing about the glossy brochures, the websites and the celebrity endorsements that pervade the cosmetic surgery industry. He said there is a clear need for prospective patients to be given counselling before undergoing surgery alongside a mandatory cooling-off period.

He condemned misleading publicity materials, aggressive marketing techniques and the use of terminology which would give the average man or woman in the street the wrong impression. Legislation, he said, was the only solution and “we should press forward as a matter of urgency because if we do not more people will suffer.”

We congratulate Kevan Jones for highlighting the problems posed by the cosmetic surgery industry and the desperate need for these issues to be addressed. Mr Jones’ speech is well worth reading and you can find it by following this link: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm151020/debt...

For anyone who has suffered at the hands of a negligent cosmetic practitioner we operate a free legal helpline. You can call us on 0808 139 1592 or, if you prefer, send us details of your case by email and we will do our best to offer helpful guidance.

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