Woman having a cosmetic treatment

Government commits to licensing non-surgical cosmetic procedures

CIEH’s sustained campaign pays off as Health and Care Bill is amended
24 March 2022 , Steve Smethurst

An agreed set of standards giving consumers confidence in cosmetic practitioners is set to be introduced, but EH teams will need more resources

CIEH President Julie Barratt has welcomed the Government’s decision to license practitioners offering non-surgical cosmetic procedures under new plans to protect patients who have aesthetic treatments such as dermal fillers, chemical peels or laser hair removal.

Having campaigned for better regulation and a licensing scheme for practitioners, CIEH’s hard work has been rewarded through an amendment to the Health and Care Bill. 

“Introducing safeguards and better regulation to the cosmetics industry in England has been a key goal for CIEH,” said Barratt. “We strongly welcome the positive engagement we have had with the Government on this issue and will continue to work with our partners to help the Government build this much-needed regulation.”

Rosemary Naylor, Environmental Health Officer at Ipswich Borough Council told EHN that this is a rapidly expanding sector with an “enormous and constantly changing” array of treatments on offer.

She said: “Regulation has not kept up, which has allowed almost anyone to be able to set themselves up as a cosmetic-treatments practitioner with very little or poor-quality training, potentially putting clients at risk of botched procedures that cannot always be reversed. 

“If implemented effectively this amendment should introduce an agreed set of standards so that consumers can feel confident that the practitioner they are using has completed the necessary accredited training and is competent to carry out the chosen treatment.”

“I encourage every local authority to take part in the consultation to ensure the regulations take account of the speed at which new treatments are developed.”

Helen Atkinson, Senior EHO at Wakefield Council also welcomed what she described as an ‘overdue’ amendment. She told EHN. “I encourage every local authority to take part in the consultation to ensure the regulations take account of the speed at which new treatments are developed."

She urged the HSE to recognise the risk in this sector too and, once regulations are in force, include it in the LAC 67/2. Atkinson also warned about the potential impact on workload to environmental health and licensing teams. “Decision-makers must provide more resources for this work to be carried out effectively.”

CIEH Vice President Baroness Ilora Finlay, who played a major role in securing the amendment in the House of Lords, said: “It’s very rewarding that we’ve got to this stage.

This has been a long campaign and we are incredibly grateful to all those people and organisations who have been involved. We look forward to working closely and positively with the Government in designing the scope and details of the new scheme.”

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