Purity Bridge Consultant Plastic Surgeon Marc Pacifico comments on the latest GMC guidance in our latest blog:
“I was interviewed on the BBC the week the recent GMC guidance appeared, representing the BAAPS (British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) on which I sit on council. I was asked what I thought, and what the BAAPS’ position was on the new guidance…from both angles, it simply doesn’t go far enough!
To summarise, the guidance stipulates a variety of points. There are three in particular that caught my attention:
Seek your patient’s consent to the procedure yourself rather than delegate – “I find it somewhat shocking that this isn’t normal practice everywhere!”
Recognise and work within the limits of your competence, seeking advice when necessary - “This point is worrying, and often debated at Plastic Surgery meetings. To coin a phrase, if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The worry is that if someone sees a practitioner who only offers a narrow range of options, they are prone to only recommending a treatment they can provide, rather than referring elsewhere for more other treatment which may be more appropriate…”
Market your services responsibly, without making unjustifiable claims about interventions, trivialising the risks involved, or using promotional tactics that might encourage people to make ill-considered decisions – “It is ethically irresponsible to be a doctor (or nurse) and put someone under duress to undergo a (voluntary) treatment by means of discounting, time limited deals (“offer ends on Friday!”) and BOGOF deals. However, this is commonplace in many clinics up and down the country!”
Whilst there is reason for optimisim that there will be a more ethical approach to the aesthetic medical market, my concern is that the guidance lacks teeth! It is not legislated for, and there is no robust enforcement strategy. It will be down to the public who are not satisfied with their treatment, follow-up or safety to report the relevant clinicians and clinics to the GMC…time will tell, but at least it’s a step in the right direction. Finally!”