Clinic consultation

Check that your clinic is registered before undergoing cosmetic treatment – Natalie Graham

When I started having cosmetic procedures, I already knew the horror stories – lip fillers gone bad, facial muscles affected from the wrong injection – but none of that bothered me. I cared about the price and how close the supplier was to me.

That quickly changed when I started working at Healthcare Improvement Scotland as part of the team responsible for regulating private healthcare (clinics, hospitals and hospices that are not part of the NHS). In Scotland, private clinics provided by doctors, nurses, dental professionals or midwives must be registered with our organisation. We currently have over 500 private clinics across Scotland registered or in the process of being registered. Now the most important factor in my decision making is whether the clinic where I book a cosmetic procedure is registered with us, which means that their staff will be suitably qualified and the clinic is regulated to meet the standards of care established in Scotland.

It was during my first appointment with the clinic I currently use – which was only a consultation – that I noticed the stark difference between regulated and unregulated clinics. During the appointment, I felt that not only had I been given great advice on what would specifically work for me, but that the clinicians wanted to make sure I was getting the procedures for the right reasons. I felt they were subtly checking if I was doing this for myself, that I understood what the process entailed, and that I was unaffected by body dysmorphia. It was very different from the unregulated clinics I had attended in the past, where I felt the practitioners were only interested in taking my money and often had more than one patient at the same time, which meant that I did not receive their full attention, which naturally increased the risk of error.

Natalie Graham is an administrative officer at Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

Although I now have the confidence that I am in the hands of certified medical professionals, this is often not the case for many people. Since telling my friends about my work, I have been approached by many people asking for advice on specific aesthetic procedures and clinics, to see if I know about them and if they are registered with Healthcare. Improvement Scotland. It showed me how important it is for young people – and anyone considering cosmetic procedures – to know what to look for in a clinic and how to ensure they will be safe and taken care of.

For many people I have spoken to, the first step they take now when seeking a clinic for treatments is to check if they are registered with us. Everything else, like location and price, comes next.

What all people considering cosmetic work should do is put their personal safety and well-being first, and the best way to do that is in the hands of a trained medical professional. working in an accredited clinic.

Natalie Graham is 26 and is an administrative manager at Healthcare Improvement Scotland.