Date Published: 10 July 2008

Concerns about patient health if cosmetic laser industry de-regulated

Some patient groups and healthcare practitioners are concerned that the UK government’s plans to de-regulate cosmetic laser treatments from 1 October 2008 will undermine the quality of care being delivered to patients and put nurses in a vulnerable position.

The Royal College of Nursing is joining Which? and 30 patient groups, medical bodies, cosmetic clinics and industry representatives in calling on the Government to reconsider the plan, which will remove non-surgical laser treatments, such as hair removal and skin treatments, from healthcare regulation.

Dr Peter Carter, General Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said:

If the Government proceeds with de-regulating the industry, it will be failing to protect the health and wellbeing of patients.

Our members support the regulation of cosmetic laser treatments and wish to protect patients.

The RCN is concerned that this decision could potentially enable individuals without qualifications to perform laser and other treatments on patients, which would pose a serious health risk to patients and damage confidence in the industry.”

Marie Duckett, Chair of RCN Forum for Nurses in Aesthetic Medicine, said:

It is a mistake to de-regulate cosmetic laser clinics and will be a backward step in the delivery of cosmetic laser treatments to patients.

Cosmetic laser treatments are extremely effective in expert clinical hands, but equally can prove to be dangerous in the hands of someone inexperienced or who has not been properly trained or without a clinical qualification.

The proposed plan sends the wrong message to the public and the practitioners. It is unfortunate that this should happen at a time when we are trying to improve standards in the industry.”

Source: Royal College of Nursing (RCN), UK.
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