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Should Your Aesthetics Clinic Be CQC Registered?

Should i be CQC Registered?

Under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (referred to as “the Act”), registration with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is mandatory for service providers conducting regulated activities, whether they are individuals or organizations. It’s crucial to understand what constitutes a regulated activity, especially in the context of the cosmetic and aesthetic industry.

Regulated activities encompass surgical cosmetic procedures like facelifts and services offered in slimming clinics, such as liposuction. Failure to register with the CQC when engaging in such activities is a legal offense and can result in severe consequences, including financial penalties or imprisonment. Providers offering these services must determine if they fall under the registration requirements, as discovering the need for registration too late can be problematic.

What you need to know…

Schedule 1 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 defines surgical procedures as those conducted by healthcare professionals for treating diseases, disorders, injuries, or cosmetic purposes. Unfortunately, the legislation doesn’t provide a specific definition of “cosmetic surgery,” creating uncertainty for providers regarding CQC registration.

CQC offers some practical guidance, stating that any procedure involving the insertion of instruments or equipment into the body qualifies as a surgical procedure, necessitating CQC registration. Examples of cosmetic treatments considered surgical procedures under the legislation include facelifts, buttock or thigh lifts, eyelid or brow surgery, nose surgery, tummy tucks, or any procedure involving implants. However, the guidance lacks an exhaustive list, ultimately leaving the determination of registration requirements to the CQC, often after procedures have commenced.

There exists a grey area between surgical and non-surgical procedures open to interpretation. For instance, while all types of thread lifting are considered surgical procedures, subcutaneous injections like Botox® administration are not. Consequently, Botox® providers are not required to register with the CQC, despite the invasive nature of both procedures.

This ambiguity makes it challenging for providers to discern the registration threshold. Non-compliance can lead to serious consequences under Section 10 of the Act, including fines, imprisonment, or both. In a notable case in 2012, a provider, 𝘕𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘊𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘤.𝘤𝘰𝘮, was fined £40,000 for conducting unregulated liposuction, in addition to £22,548 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

In summary, navigating the regulatory landscape in the cosmetic and aesthetic industry, particularly regarding CQC registration, can be complex and carries significant legal ramifications for non-compliance. Providers should seek clarity and guidance to ensure they meet their legal obligations.