"Bogus" nurse running Botox clinic highlights the need for more regulation

Posted: 02/06/2015


According to a recent BBC investigation, Marie McGinty, a “bogus” nurse is running a cosmetic clinic offering Botox and dermal filler treatments. 

In 2012, Ms McGinty established Vital Cosmetics Liverpool Limited which runs clinics throughout the North West and North Wales. According to promotional material, the clinics offer anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers using Botox, which can only be given on prescription following an assessment by a doctor or nurse prescriber. 

It has been reported that Ms McGinty, who describes herself as an aesthetics nurse practitioner, nurse prescriber and midwife, is not registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. As only registered nurses can become nurse prescribers, there are concerns about the source of Ms McGinty’s Botox and whether or not it is counterfeit if it is being sourced through “unofficial channels”. 

The investigation undertaken by the BBC spoke to one of the women who had Botox injections at Ms McGinty’s clinic. She was left with blemishes and hard lumps around her eyes from the fillers, which needed correcting by a cosmetic doctor. 

The demand for non-surgical cosmetic procedures has surged, with figures showing that nine out of ten cosmetic procedures performed in the UK are non-surgical treatments such as Botox, chemical peels and dermal fillers.

Botox and fillers are among the most popular non-surgical treatments but, despite their popularity, there are serious risks associated with anti-wrinkle dermal fillers particularly where Botox is being injected into the face. It is therefore worrying that the BBC has uncovered someone purporting to be a registered nurse carrying out non-surgical treatments, apparently without the requisite training or authority to do so. This is likely to lead to serious consequences for patients.

There has been an overwhelming call by doctors and patients recently for the introduction of new specialist training for cosmetic surgeons to remove cowboy practices from the industry.

The Health Education England (HEE) is in the process of reviewing training for non-surgical cosmetic procedures. The HEE is working with regulators and royal colleges to conduct a review of the qualifications required for non-surgical cosmetic procedures. This is one of the outcomes of the review led by Sir Bruce Keogh.

It is anticipated that many specialists will argue that the HEE’s proposals do not go far enough. With this in mind, organisations such as SaveFace is compiling a voluntary register of non-surgical cosmetic practitioners who are thoroughly vetted by doctors before being accredited so that consumers can have confidence in selecting a clinic.

Amy Milner, a solicitor in the cosmetic surgery team at Penningtons Manches, says: “We agree that, in light of the Keogh review, there is a clear need for stronger regulation and training within the industry. But it is clear from the recent BBC investigation that there are still some cowboy practices performing non-surgical treatments.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in the number of cases of people who have been left with devastating complications following a cosmetic filler procedure that was not performed by a specialist. Many people do not appreciate the need to meet with either a qualified cosmetic surgeon or someone with the appropriate training and qualifications to inject fillers/Botox. Too often these procedures are deemed straightforward and not enough is said about what can happen if something goes wrong.

“We welcome the BBC’s recent investigation and we hope that this will strengthen the message to potential patients that non-surgical treatments are not to be taken lightly and that it is imperative to see a properly trained and regulated specialist.”


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