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Giving the CQC the power to rate providers of cosmetic surgery will improve patient safety

22 Aug 2016

The Royal College of Surgeons has today welcomed the Department of Health’s (DH) proposal to expand the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC’s) public ratings system to providers of cosmetic surgery, saying it will complement the new system of certification of surgeons that the RCS will launch later this year. 

Commenting on the proposal, Mr Stephen Cannon, Chair of the Cosmetic Surgery Interspecialty Committee and Vice President of the Royal College of Surgeons, said:

“Deciding to undergo cosmetic surgery is a big decision and choosing the right provider can often be confusing and overwhelming for prospective patients. It is excellent news that the Department of Health is proposing to expand the CQC’s public ratings system to cosmetic surgery providers. The easier it is for patients considering cosmetic surgery to identify providers that meet the high standards required for safe surgery, the better.

“Earlier this year, the RCS worked with the regulators the GMC and the CQC to produce new professional standards for cosmetic surgery.  If these proposals go ahead, the CQC will refer to the new  standards when carrying out their inspections and before they rate private hospitals or clinics.

“We will also launch a system of certification for surgeons later this year which will help patients to find a certified surgeon, with the appropriate training, experience and insurance to carry out a procedure.  If the CQC’s rating programme is extended to providers of cosmetic surgery, patients will be able to review how a hospital has been rated by the CQC and whether the surgeon has been certified by the Royal College of Surgeons, before making their decision on where to have treatment. This will improve patient safety and tighten regulation of the industry.”

Notes to editors

The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care.

The Department of Health's consultation, launched today, is open until 14 October. View the consultation.

For more information, please contact the Press Office:

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