Aesthetic Medicine and Vested Interest Groups

Imagine fighting against better standards in education and training

However, that is precisely what several representatives of vested interest groups are doing and not in the most honest way either.

Would you believe there is a cohort of vested interest groups fighting against the implementation of better standards in training and the positioning of a new not-for-profit professional registrar? The narrative is wrapped up in the promotion of disinformation and slay of hand tactics designed to build a biased picture of the new initiatives. The problem has become so intense that the JCCP just published a document to help sort out fact from fiction.

The entire fiasco is borne out of the JCCP permitting Beauty Therapists to join the JCCP register if they achieve the high standards in education and training required to join. However, these vested interest groups are using the umbrella term “Medical Aesthetics” as a method to paint the JCCP in a bad light.

Any lay person practising medical Aesthetics is a professional worry no matter how many hoops the @JointCCP makes them jump through. They will never have the medical background Drs, nurses and dentists have to keep patients safe.

On face value that seems like a fair and reasonable statement. If you disregard that an appropriate education includes all that is required to facilitate specific modalities in the aesthetics discipline. That is the fundamental concept here, “specific modalities” yet these same vested interest groups continually frame their rhetoric in injectable cosmetics while using the umbrella term of aesthetic medicine. Moreover, there is no pathway for a beauty therapist to enter the Level 7 programme for injectable cosmetics. Grounding their entire platform is fearmongering, and to that end, one can only surmise either market protection practices or the reluctance of needing to retrain in the Level 7 programme to stay relevant in the industry. [We’re making a fortune after completing a one day course; now they want us to achieve a formal qualification, how unfair.]

The vested interest groups tend to be two cohorts, current injectors and or proprietors of “for profit” registries.

There is no doubt that the JCCP (Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners) a not for profit, charitable status, Government back initiative, in partnership with the CPSA (Cosmetic Standards Practice Authority,) is making for profit (commercial entities,) literally, shake in their collective boots.

Let us return for a moment to that umbrella bucket term, medical aesthetics or aesthetic medicine.

Under the banner of medical aesthetics includes therapies:

  • Chemical peels
  • Laser hair removal
  • Tattoo removal
  • Permanent makeup
  • Dermal needling
  • Skin disorders

It also includes

  • Facelifts
  • Breast augmentation
  • Liposuction
  • Hair transplantation
  • Rhinoplasty
  • Lipotomy

(not an exhaustive list)

I am sure you don’t want your dentist performing your breast surgery.

The JCCP is not saying that a beauty therapist with the correct training can start performing facelifts. They are saying that with the appropriate training they can perform facial peels, laser hair removal, etc. The general public gains a searchable database for finding professionally trained operators practising within their remit.

The reason the JCCP has taken the position to allow beauty therapists the ability to join the register is an overall move to lift the non-surgical cosmetic interventions sector with higher standards in training and thus better outcomes for the general public.

An introduction to the JCCP and CPSA: sorting fact from fiction (link)

Non-medical practitioners already operate widely within this sector, and at present, this is permitted in law in the UK. Encouraging those who reach the required Standards to join the practitioner register allows the public to access people with the required qualifications for each of the modalities identified as per the HEE framework and who also conform to agreed standards of practice follow-up, premises requirements, supervision, prescribing, advertising and much more. Those who cannot reach these levels – and arguably there will be many – may well continue to practise outside the register, and without mandatory powers this cannot be averted.

However, publicising the register and why these Standards are so important, will help the public access practitioners who do meet the required Standards. In essence, the register promotes and raises the profile of clinicians who can demonstrate their qualifications and adherence to standards.

If these vested interest groups ran a platform of we do not agree with beauty therapists administering injectable cosmetics, I doubt they would find much negativity to that position. In fact, we have been very clear about where we stand on the subject. However, running a platform directly against an initiative promoting more effective training. Disputing the need and benefit of the Level 7 programme for injectables, and by extension against the very recommendations of the Keogh report and HEE reports, is, well, beyond baffling. It is with some depressing thoughts that their entire platform is not about better outcomes for the general public, but wholly concerning financial protection.

Please note the JCCP is currently a UK initiative, we anticipate in due course for the concept to be duplicated throughout much of the world.


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