Scotland named ‘worst in Europe’ for risky fillers

The lack of regulation in the UK is something that the whole aesthetics sector is aware of, with the government taking first steps last year, releasing a consultation to the public. Healthcare professionals, however, are particularly concerned about the regulations in Scotland, and have been speaking out in the hopes of warning the public about their concerns.

Currently in Scotland it is not illegal for under-18’s to have injectable treatments, unlike the UK, where the Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill was passed in 2021.

The absence of legislation has led to an influx of unqualified practitioners and has contributed to a rise in complications associated with cosmetic procedures, including infections, necrosis, and blindness. Additionally, the prevalence of unlicensed and counterfeit products, such as Botox, poses further risks to patient safety.

Despite calls for action and promises from the Scottish government to ensure that cosmetic treatments are performed by trained professionals, no concrete steps have been taken. This lack of regulation has prompted concerns about patient safety and the need for stricter oversight in the sector.

“The Scottish Government should be ashamed of themselves, allowing the good people of Scotland to be placed at risk, for failing to regulate the cosmetic injectables medical speciality,” said plastic surgeon Mr Taimur Shoaib: “They call it an industry but actually we’re a medical speciality and this is why the situation is no better in the rest of the UK where unregulated lays can inject without consequences, when they cause complications to the unsuspecting public.”

In response to these concerns, Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) has emphasized the importance of treatments being provided by regulated providers and trained healthcare professionals. The Scottish government acknowledges the need for future regulation but has not provided specific timelines or details on potential measures.

Public health minister Jenni Minto has stated that all options are being considered, including age restrictions and training requirements, to ensure the safety of individuals seeking cosmetic treatments in Scotland.

BACN honorary members, Jackie Partridge and Francis Turner Traill, spoke to the BBC, sharing their disappointment at the lack of action from the Scottish government.

"The UK is a joke when it comes to our colleagues in the rest of the world and Scotland is the worst in the UK." Partridge told the BBC.

Turner Trail said “It’s a very poor situation and unfortunately Scotland is the worst in the UK, and the UK is the worst in Europe.

“It’s been 10 years that myself and colleagues have sat round the table with the Scottish government and very little has been done, and it’s inexcusable, because the public is now injecting the public without any redress.”

Read the full BBC article online here.