The unveiling of a new credentialing scheme allowing surgeons to demonstrate competency in cosmetic surgery is being strongly welcomed as “a significant step in the right direction” by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.

The measures announced by the Royal College of Surgeons of England for next Spring offer an improvement to a sector lacking regulation and often seen as the ‘Wild West’.

According to consultant plastic surgeon and BAAPS President Michael Cadier:

“The BAAPS see this as a positive move in the right direction, which is at long last recognising that surgeons who perform cosmetic surgery should have to prove at least a measure of training and demonstrate that they have been exposed to a minimum number of cases.”

“BAAPS are rightly proud to have been at the heart of helping create these new proposals, with the current President and President-Elect leading the two main committees that have brought forward this new initiative.”

Last month at the Association’s Annual Scientific Meeting, surgeons unveiled ground-breaking new Fellowships for training the next generation of surgeons.

The BAAPS have previously offered a solution to the issue of ‘Fly-In-Fly-Out’ (FIFO) surgeons many of whom lack appropriate insurance cover – matters which have been seen to cause serious problems for patients when complications arise.

The BAAPS therefore welcome the recommendation of proving indemnity (medical negligence) cover for the UK – but warn that since measures will not be compulsory, patients will still need to remain vigilant.

Mr. Cadier continues:

“In particular, we welcome the need for surgeons to have a proper medical indemnity policy covering work in the UK, as currently many clinicians from overseas may perform cosmetic surgery in Britain with very limited, overseas-based insurance which leaves patients high and dry if anything goes wrong.”

“BAAPS expect that these proposals will rapidly become an expected minimum standard in the UK – eventually surgeons operating without certification should hopefully find that any mainstream hospital or clinic will not allow them to operate, as they represent a potential risk to patients.”

“Discouragingly, despite the recent findings from Sir Bruce Keogh’s review into our sector, we are still seeing unscrupulous providers that continue to sidestep guidelines for best practice and put profits before patients. It is therefore as important as ever for anyone considering aesthetic surgery to carefully research their surgeon and avoid unqualified or uninsured practitioners. Whilst we’re pleased to see these new measures being implemented, the system remains far from a cure-all.”

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