The Department of Health has launched a consultation on proposals to allow the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to assess cosmetic surgery providers.
The extension is proposed to also cover independent community health service providers, independent ambulance services, independent dialysis units, refractive eye surgery providers, substance misuse centres and abortion services.
The consultation has arisen as concerns about the quality of expertise found in some providers, particularly cosmetic surgery, continue to grow. Earlier this year, data released by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons revealed that there 51,140 cosmetic procedures were carried out in 2015– a 13 per cent rise on the number in 2014.
The Government has been looking to make cosmetic surgery safer since the PIP breast implant scandal in 2012, when French company Poly Implant Prosthese was found to have supplied breast implants that contained substandard silicone.
In the consultation document, the Government says that, “there have been significant concerns about safety and quality of providers in the cosmetic surgery sector since the publication of the report into PIP breast implants in June 2012.”
“Sir Bruce Keogh’s review of the regulation of cosmetic intervention recommended that ‘Providers should be required to notify the public on their websites of any CQC inspection concerns or notices’.
“Extending ratings of providers to this sector combined with the requirement to display the rating is consistent with this recommendation and will provide fuller information on the safety and quality of services provided.”
Professor Edward Baker, deputy chief inspector of hospitals at CQC, said that the consultation had been written in the interests of continued transparency.
“Extending the scope of our ratings to cover these additional services would allow us to celebrate even more good and outstanding care that is out there and to help the public be even clearer on those services that need additional support to improve,” he said.