In spite of government recommendations suggesting bans on perks, cosmetic surgery clinics in the United Kingdom are still offering promotional deals like chauffeurs and packages.
More than half of the United Kingdom’s top 50 aesthetic plastic surgery providers advertise promotional deals like freebies, photo shoots, competitions and holiday packages, according to recent research.
Published at London’s annual meeting of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, the research found that many deals had deadlines, advertising with such time-linked statements as, ‘Book by Friday.’
None of the cosmetic surgery providers offering deals provided patients the government recommended two-stage written consent cooling-off period.
Another study, concerning non-surgical treatments like wrinkle-relaxing injections and dermal fillers, discovered that 58 percent of the top 50 providers offered incentives for these procedures. Thirty-two percent administered the procedures, while more than a quarter failed to mention qualifications.
The facial procedures in the study often took place at sites like shopping centers, gyms and at-home parties. Only 22 percent of these procedures took place in facilities registered with the Care Quality Commission.
Following the PIP breast implant scandal in April, NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh’s recent report warned that the cosmetic surgery industry’s advertising practices could be highly misleading. Keogh claimed that time-limited deals, incentives, package deals and reduced prices for friend referrals were socially irresponsible and should be banned by professional codes.
“This new yet sadly unsurprising evidence shows that despite the recommendations of Sir Bruce Keogh’s review, the most popular providers continue to advertize financial inducements and luxury incentives, clearly reinforcing the preposterous notion that surgery is part of a celebrity-style status symbol involving photo shoots and chauffeur services,” BAAPS president Rajiv Grover told the Daily Mail. “There is nothing glamorous about surgery and these serious and irreversible procedures should not be sold alongside aspirational perks as if they were part of a jet-setting lifestyle.”
BAAPS and the Healing Foundation set up a new government-endorsed National Institute of Aesthetic Research (NIAR) to establish scientific evidence on aesthetic procedures.
“I welcome the announcement from the Healing Foundation and BAAPS on the launch of the NIAR,” Sir Bruce Keogh told the Daily Mail. “This joint initiative is the first recommendation of my review to be implemented and I know it will provide a major contribution to patient safety.”