New cosmetic surgery regulations announced: CQC to rate clinics

CQC ratings of plastic surgery clinicsSince Sir Bruce Keogh carried out a review of the cosmetic surgery industry, published in 2013, that called for a greater need of regulation, various initiatives have been announced.

Now, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has declared that, in pursuit of greater transparency, the powers of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will be extended to rate cosmetic surgery clinics.

The CQC currently monitors and inspects healthcare facilities in the UK and, up till now, has provided ratings for NHS Trusts, independent hospitals and GP surgeries. The aim is to expand this to cosmetic surgery providers to improve patient safety; the ratings encompass ‘outstanding’, ‘good’, ‘requires improvement’ and, finally, ‘inadequate’.

Hunt was quoted as saying: “Anyone who chooses to have a cosmetic procedure should have high quality and safe care – and that’s why we have a tough regulator in place to help people make an informed decision.”

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), of which I’m a member, is the largest independent association representing plastic surgeons issued a comment on this new announcement: “We welcome, indeed, have been calling for during the last decade – as much Government scrutiny as is possible of the cosmetic sector. This is an arena where regulation has historically been lax and many practitioners can engage in procedures they are not trained or even qualified to perform.”

However, there was a caveat to their support; the CQC regulates clinics rather than the surgeon and focuses on such aspects as equipment and record-keeping. As important as those aspects are, the most important decision you can make when about to undergo cosmetic surgery is your choice of surgeon.

Choosing the right cosmetic surgeon

Before going ahead with an op, then you have to ascertain whether your surgeon has the relevant qualifications and experience:

  • All medical practitioners practicing in the UK should be on the register of the General Medical Council (GMC). Furthermore, the register will indicate whether they are qualified as a plastic surgeon which means they have undergone years of specialist training in plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgical procedures.
  • Whilst the younger generation of Plastic Surgeons have had to take an exit specialty exam at the end of their training (since 1996) for which they will have the qualification FRCS(Plast) added after their name, I completed my formal training in Plastic Surgery before then through a rigorous system termed Accreditation of The Royal Colleges of Surgeons. This was the same as the modern approval and Plastic Surgeons of my experience and seniority therefore simply have FRCS after their name, despite having that much more experience and having in fact taught the younger generation of surgeons much of what they know*. Confirmation of my full standing is reflected in my place on the General Medical Council Specialty Register in Plastic Surgery, which you can quite easily check, my GMC number being 1545391.
  • Currently, holds or has held a position as a consultant plastic surgeon in the NHS, which conveys at least some (see above and below) practical experience in performing cosmetic surgery procedures. I led, expanded and developed the Plastic Surgical Service for Coventry & Warwickshire over 20 years and was its Director for 10.
  • They are a member of one of the independent plastic surgery associations in the UK, such as the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (BAAPS) or British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS). I am a Member of both.

During your consultation your surgeon should be very clear on their experience, qualifications and suitability to perform cosmetic surgery. To arrange a cosmetic surgery consultation at my Leamington Spa, Coventry or Rugby clinics, call 01926 436341.

* It is relevant to add that at the time of my training, very much more (perfectly justifiable) Cosmetic Surgery was carried out on the NHS, compared to the current very low levels owing to financial pressures, and I therefore received a much more comprehensive training in Cosmetic Plastic Surgery and over a longer period than is available to trainees today. The breadth and depth of that training, built on and updated over the years, has stood me in very good stead in the cosmetic aspect of my Practice.

BODY & LIMB PROCEDURES

From tummy tucks to hand surgery,    Mr Matthews offers a wide range of procedures from contouring to contracture release.

BREAST PROCEDURES

Offering a range of breast procedures, including breast augmentation, breast reduction and breast uplifts.

FACIAL PROCEDURES

Visit the menu for the full range of surgical and non-surgical options      Mr Matthews provides.

SKIN CANCER

Mr Matthews has devoted much time to the management of skin cancer, co-founding the original team to improve standards in Coventry and Warwickshire

Courteney Cox cosmetic surgery regrets

How to avoid cosmetic surgery regret

Friends’ actress Courteney Cox was recently quoted across the UK media saying she regretted some of the steps she’d taken to combat the ageing process.

Patient Testimonial

As a patient of Mr Matthews I wish to express my confidence and admiration for all his skill, care and personal attention throughout my treatment and the excellent outcome achieved.

H Darling, March 2014

 
2014-04-15T17:35:29+00:00
As a patient of Mr Matthews I wish to express my confidence and admiration for all his skill, care and personal attention throughout my treatment

Patient Testimonial

We made an appointment with Mr Richard Matthews after having a difficult twin birth and further complications resulting in a hernia and separated stomach muscles. From the outset Mr Matthews was extremely helpful and took his time to explain the operation I needed and made me feel very reassured that he was someone with a wealth of experience. I could not fault the pre-op and post op care I received from Mr Matthews, he was thorough, meticulous and I felt genuinely cared for every step of the way. He visited me every day to check my progress and provided medical care above and beyond the hours required of him.

The operation has changed my life tremendously in such a positive way, I can now pick up my young children without being in pain, buy clothes that actually fit and feel more confident in my appearance. I could not speak highly enough of Mr Matthews.

Rebecca Martin, February 2014
2014-04-15T17:36:37+00:00
We made an appointment with Mr Richard Matthews after having a difficult twin birth and further complications resulting in a hernia and separated stomach muscles.

Patient Testimonial

For years I had become increasingly annoyed by two creamy whitish plaques at the outer aspect of my eyes. When I consulted Mr Matthews, he explained that they were deposits of cholesterol and that they were small enough to remove under local anaesthetic.

There was very minimal bruising and at my age (I am sixty one) I expected much more. The stitches were duly removed as arranged. It is now a month since the surgery and with make-up the scar is not visible at all. Mr Matthews assured me that the scar will continue to fade gradually. The staff were professional at all times, attentive, informative and eager to put me at ease. My only regret is that I did not consider surgery earlier.

Joan C Mogg
2014-04-15T17:37:20+00:00
For years I had become increasingly annoyed by two creamy whitish plaques at the outer aspect of my eyes. When I consulted Mr Matthews, he

Patient Testimonial

The worrying event of finding that I needed to see a consultant was one that I did greet with some confidence knowing that I could attend a specialist at Nuffield, known to my wife Ella who is a registered nurse there. My consultation with Mr Matthews and the small operation I had to undergo confirmed to me that I was in the best possible professional hands I would not hesitate to recommend Nuffield and Mr Matthews in particular to anyone requiring his professional services.

M Keeler, February 2014
2014-04-15T17:38:07+00:00
The worrying event of finding that I needed to see a consultant was one that I did greet with some confidence knowing that I could

Patient Testimonial

Having been a patient of Mr Matthews in 2003, my immediate reaction when I was diagnosed with an advanced nodular malignant melanoma on my scalp in 2011 was to request that he be my surgeon again, such is the extremely high level of confidence I have I his expertise. His quiet manner combined with the provision of a written detailed statement of the procedure required provides significant calm in a very stressful situation.

M J Wright, February 2014
2014-04-15T17:39:11+00:00
Having been a patient of Mr Matthews in 2003, my immediate reaction when I was diagnosed with an advanced nodular malignant melanoma on my scalp

Patient Testimonial

I developed a fairly aggressive basal cell carcinoma on my left cheek. As a retired dental practitioner, I realised that the lesion needed urgent attention and sought the advice of Mr Matthews. From our first meeting he was attentive, thorough and went to great lengths to explain the different procedures that could be employed, their implications and probable outcomes. A summary of that consultation was thoughtfully sent to me afterwards. Surgery, including the need for a full thickness skin graft, was carried out perfectly comfortably under local anaesthetic in the modern clinical environment of Nuffield Health Warwickshire Hospital. For no obvious reason, healing proved to be slower than either of us expected but Mr Matthews meticulously following a routine of frequent review and regular dressings, I am pleased to say the lesion has now fully healed but will continue to be reviewed at regular intervals. I have no hesitation in commending Mr Matthews professional and skilful surgical abilities, complemented by a quiet and caring manner which inspired confidence and trust.

Dr Jeremy Whyman, February 2014
2014-04-15T17:39:39+00:00
I developed a fairly aggressive basal cell carcinoma on my left cheek. As a retired dental practitioner, I realised that the lesion needed urgent attention

Patient Testimonial

Having been a patient of Mr Matthews for the last eight years, I have always found him very patient, calming and reassuring and as I have always been very nervous of Hospitals etc he has now conquered these feelings for me. He has performed a number of operations for me, in each case most successfully. He could not be more gentle with his treatments and I have no hesitation in strongly recommending him to anyone!

Margot Clark, February 2014
2014-04-15T17:40:22+00:00
Having been a patient of Mr Matthews for the last eight years, I have always found him very patient, calming and reassuring and as I

Patient Testimonial

I saw Mr Matthews for a mole on my cheek that had been slowing growing over many years. I was incredibly nervous about having it removed, especially considering the size and potential for leaving a large ‘hole’ in my face. Mr Matthews was absolutely excellent and at our initial consultation he managed my expectations with regard to scarring. The procedure itself was absolutely painless and the aftercare advice brilliant. I am absolutely delighted with the work that was done and wish I’d done it years earlier – there’s the tiniest of scars that you can just about see if you are really looking for it (in good light!). For any woman, putting your face in the hands of a surgeon is something we wouldn’t take lightly and I was very concerned about finding a qualified professional with a good track record who could do the work. I am so glad that I did my research and found Mr Matthews. I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to him if I needed anything else doing – his professional and friendly manner really put me at ease and I would highly recommend him.

Alison, February 2014
2014-04-15T17:51:26+00:00
I saw Mr Matthews for a mole on my cheek that had been slowing growing over many years. I was incredibly nervous about having it

Patient Testimonial

I was referred to Mr Matthews by a dermatologist who had concerns that a mark on my nose could well be a basal cell carcinoma. I had previously had two taken from my face and was feeling extremely anxious about the prospect of more surgery and the consequent effect on my appearance.

My previous surgeon had done an excellent job technically, but Mr Matthews' understanding of the effects that such a procedure on such a visible part of the body can have on one's confidence, really helped and supported me. As a woman who takes pride in her appearance and had a very public job, this reassurance and understanding was so important to me. The care he gave me, not only in preparation for and during the operation, but also in follow up appointments, was second to none. He did an amazing job on removing the affected tissue and on the necessary skin grafting, giving me advice and support throughout.

Ruth Winters, February 2014
2014-04-15T17:52:17+00:00
I was referred to Mr Matthews by a dermatologist who had concerns that a mark on my nose could well be a basal cell carcinoma.

Patient Testimonial

I have been under the care of Mr Matthews since 2004 when I was first diagnosed with Basal Cell Carcinoma [BCC]. In the intervening years I have had many surgical procedures to remove lesions and to receive skin grafts. On every consultation I have been given the most attentive care, and experienced Mr Matthews’s extensive surgical skills through all the stages of treatment. His concern for the well-being of his patients is without precedent in my experience, and I would not hesitate to advise those in need of treatment for BCC or related conditions to consult Mr Matthews.

K J Kerton, January 2014
2014-04-15T17:52:57+00:00
I have been under the care of Mr Matthews since 2004 when I was first diagnosed with Basal Cell Carcinoma [BCC]. In the intervening years

Patient Testimonial

I had an upper blepharoplasty (upper eyelid reconstruction) carried out by Mr Matthews under local anaesthetic in 2007. I couldn't have asked for better treatment before, during and after the procedure and a brilliant result. I would not hesitate to recommend Mr Matthews to anyone who was thinking of having this procedure or any plastic surgery carried out, for his attentive care from first appointment to discharge.

Elizabeth Roberts, January 2014
2014-04-15T17:53:36+00:00
I had an upper blepharoplasty (upper eyelid reconstruction) carried out by Mr Matthews under local anaesthetic in 2007. I couldn’t have asked for better treatment

Patient Testimonial

I had breast augmentation carried out by Mr Matthews in December 2012. I didn't take this procedure lightly and spent some time researching the procedure, surgeons and clinics before I made my decision. Mr Matthews was extremely thorough in explaining all aspects of the procedure and totally put my mind at rest that I was in extremely good hands.

My breast augmentation surgery was, I would say, 110% successful, I am so pleased with the results. Mr Matthews is a highly accomplished surgeon who I would not hesitate to recommend for his surgical skills, professionalism and attentiveness.

V. Cullen, January 2014
2014-04-15T17:54:01+00:00
I had breast augmentation carried out by Mr Matthews in December 2012. I didn’t take this procedure lightly and spent some time researching the procedure,

Patient Testimonial

I have been a patient of Mr Matthews for a number of years and during that time I have found him very approachable and caring as well as being extremely thorough and he has solved my dermatological problems very efficiently.

Mary Wells, January 2014
2014-04-15T17:54:29+00:00
I have been a patient of Mr Matthews for a number of years and during that time I have found him very approachable and caring