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Sussex medical centres welcome cosmetic surgery review
Medical centres in Sussex have welcomed a major review of cosmetic surgery following the PIP breast implant scandal.
It will be led by NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh who is likely to recommend tighter rules in several key areas.
This includes making it routine practice for surgeons to register all devices – from breast implants to hip replacements – on a detailed register that could be used to detect trends and trace individual patients.
It would also require clinics to join a scheme that would offer patients protection if a company went bust.
Other measures could include tightening the rules on anti-ageing dermal fillers, which require only basic safety checks and can legally be injected by anyone, and introducing minimum training requirements for surgeons carrying out cosmetic procedures.
Patricia Lee, chief executive of Nuffield Health Hospitals, which has a hospital in Woodingdean, Brighton, said: “This review is vital in cleaning up an industry which often falls into disrepute due to the actions of some providers.
“We are pleased that the Government has taken on board Nuffield Health’s proposal of an ABTA-style bond to ensure that patients are properly protected should a company go out of business.
"We hope that by ‘tightening the rules’ about who can use dermal fillers, it will lead to them being reclassified as prescription-only medication, in line with other medicines. “We would also call for the deregulation of lasers to be reversed.
“At Nuffield Health we continue to call for a ban on all direct advertising of cosmetic surgery so that patients are not enticed into making decisions about surgery based on gimmicks or low-cost deals from unscrupulous high street clinics.”
A spokesman for the McIndoe Centre in East Grinstead said: “Any form of regulation that will provide patients with improved care and safer outcomes must be considered. Cosmetic surgery patients need to be treated with respect and not seen as a way to make easy money.”
Among the Sussex women with concerns over breast implants were Romany Smith, 44, of Worthing.
She was given the now banned implants on the NHS, but believes toxic chemicals could have contributed towards her baby being still born and her suffering a miscarriage.
Anntina Maughan, 39, from Crawley had her breasts enlarged four years ago but the implants ruptured during her pregnancy and she was told she would have to wait until after her baby was born before she could have them removed.
The review was requested by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley after concerns about cosmetic surgery were raised following the public outcry over faulty PIP breast implants and could lead to tighter regulation of the industry.