The prospect of further regulation of non-surgical cosmetic procedures in Scotland

  • 12 July 2022 12 July 2022
  • Healthcare

On 7 July 2022, Scottish Government published its response to the analysis report findings following a public consultation on the regulation of non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

98% of the 437 responses to the consultation agreed that further regulation of such procedures was needed. 382 responses were from individuals and 55 from organisations.

In response, Scottish Government has committed to:

  • consider new regulations for non-surgical cosmetic procedures that pierce or penetrate the skin.
  • consider new measures to enhance public safety around the procedures which would restrict who can administer dermal fillers, also known as lip or face fillers, and would mean anyone administering them must meet rigorous hygiene and clinical standards.
  • scope other procedures to consider the need for further regulation.
  • consider secondary legislation to bring pharmacists who provide services outside of NHS contracts under the regulation of Healthcare Improvement Scotland. This would add them to the list of service providers included in the definition of an independent clinic in section 10F of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978. 

Further detail is provided by Scottish Government here.  

The UK's cosmetic surgery industry is currently worth an estimated £3.6 billion. Non-surgical treatments such as botulinum toxin and dermal filler injections account for 9 out of 10 procedures, valuing the sector at approximately £2.75 billion.

“Botox” and other botulinum toxins are already regulated under reserved UK legislation on prescription-only medicines, with professional guidance that requires any prescriber to have professional knowledge and a face-to-face consultation with the person receiving botulinum toxin before they can prescribe it for the person receiving it and before a health professional can administer it.

Scottish Government has noted that the Health and Care Act 2022 will introduce enabling powers to establish a licensing scheme for non-surgical cosmetic providers in England and have committed to working with the other UK nations as they develop Scottish proposals in this area.


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