New regulations being brought in by the General Medical Council (GMC) to protect cosmetic surgery patients have been welcomed by leading cosmetic hospital The McIndoe Centre.
The rules, which come into force this June, will ensure that patients undergoing cosmetic procedures must fully understand all the risks and have adequate time to make an informed decision. Clinics will no longer be allowed to run promotions, such as buy-one-get-one–free, or offer full consultations free of charge.
The McIndoe Centre, part of Horder Healthcare, is a renowned hospital in East Grinstead specialising in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. It was established in 1999 on the site of the pioneering McIndoe Burns Unit by a group of consultant surgeons and anaesthetists as a centre of excellence in plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery. It is headed up by Jane Vince, Centre Operations Manager.
Commenting on the GMCs new regulations, Ms Vince said: “This is most welcome news for hospitals such as ours. These rules will raise standards and ensure that patients do not fall prey to the few ‘rogue traders’ who put profits above patients."
“The McIndoe Centre has always operated according to strict guidelines which ensure our patients have a comprehensive consultation with their surgeon before committing to any procedure. This means they are informed, comfortable and aware of all the risks. They are then given a 'cooling-off' period to think carefully about whether or not they want to go-ahead with the procedure. It’s also really important that patients know what results to expect from a procedure and we do everything to make sure that their expectations are realistic."
“Patient welfare is at the centre of everything we do – the fundamental reason for any cosmetic surgery is to make the patient feel better about themselves. If this is compromised, then the surgery should not take place.”
The McIndoe Centre advises all patients considering cosmetic surgery to thoroughly research their hospital or clinic as well as the surgeon who is carrying out the procedure before making a decision.
Ms Vince added: “During your consultation you should feel able to ask as many questions as you like and given as much time as you need to make a decision, nobody should every feel pressured into a making a decision they are not comfortable with.”