Guidance for doctors who offer cosmetic interventions

Safety and quality


To help keep patients safe you must follow the guidance on establishing and participating in systems and processes that support quality assurance and service improvement, as set out in Good medical practice and our related explanatory guidance. In particular, you must:

  1. comply with any statutory reporting duties in place
  2. contribute to national programmes to monitor quality and outcomes, including those of any relevant device registries
  3. routinely monitor patient outcomes, and audit your practice, reporting at least annual data
  4. report product safety concerns to the relevant regulator.7 

You should share insights and information about outcomes with other people who offer similar interventions, to improve outcomes and patient safety.6  


The Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) collects and publishes surgical information about independent healthcare to help patients make informed choices (accessed 7 March 2016).


You must tell patients how to report complications and adverse reactions.


You must be open and honest with patients in your care, or those close to them, if something goes wrong and the patient suffers or may suffer harm or distress as a result.7 


You must carry out a physical examination of patients before prescribing injectable cosmetic medicines. You must not therefore prescribe these medicines by telephone, video link, online or at the request of others for patients you have not examined.


You must seek and act on evidence about the effectiveness of the interventions you offer and use this to improve your performance. You must provide interventions based on the best available up-to-date evidence about effectiveness, side effects and other risks.


You should be satisfied that the environment for practice is safe, suitably equipped and staffed and complies with any relevant regulatory requirements.