Safeguarding patients with Treatments You Can Trust
Treatments You Can Trust (TYCT) was launched in September 2010. Backed by the UK government, it is an online register of practitioners who are medically certified to administer injectable cosmetic treatments such as Botox and fillers. Although TYCT is a scheme specific to the UK, Sally Taber, who is responsible for the management of its Standards and Training principles, is involved in early stage discussions of developing a European standards model based on the success of the UK service.
Dr Tracey Bell, the owner and CEO of the Tracey Bell cosmetic clinics in UK, has gained her place on the Treatments You Can Trust register. One year on from its launch, Healthcare Global spoke to Tracey to see why see feels registration is so important and find out what impact it has had on her business.
Tell me about Treatments You Can Trust. What has you experience of the service been?
The Independent Healthcare Advisory Services (IHAS) has provided my business with the ‘Register of Injectable Cosmetic Providers Quality Assurance Mark’. It ensures that I can offer my clients treatments that I trust and therefore they can trust. Treatments You Can Trust provides me, my business and my patients with a consistent level of quality across the industry and the IHAS Quality Assurance Mark is an excellent service that safeguards patients and practitioners alike. I am as committed as Treatments You Can Trust is in providing a safe and professional service to their clients and mine. I am proud to be a patron of the service and the IHAS Quality Assurance Mark has given patients, practitioners and businesses the ability to vet any injectable cosmetic provider.
Why did you think it was important to register to Treatments You Can Trust?
For me, as a business owner, registration was an absolute necessity. Self-regulation is important as it ensures the correct procedures and protocols are adhered to. As a business owner, I regard registration as being incredibly important.
At present in the UK, cosmetic injectables are a ‘No Man’s Land’. I see injectors in all shapes and forms arrive onto the scene: clinics open and close all the times. What really horrifies me is consumers are quite happy and willing to accept a medical procedure in their own home or at a party. It’s quite absurd and unnerving. The consumer needs to understand that injectable treatments are medical procedures, though they come with great benefit, there are also risks. As an injector the safety of my patients is paramount.
It’s been a year since Treatments You Can Trust was founded, what has the reaction been, from both patients and practitioners, to the service?
As a consumer myself, I do feel that trust plays a large part when it comes to injectables. The Treatments You Can Trust campaign and team have been fantastic in providing a gold standard that practices and practitioners should aim for. Referrals have been obtained from the website and I find these consumers to be the more savvy ones – they do their research thoroughly and efficiently and want a procedure completed correctly in a safe, medical environment. These are the patients I want and strive for.
What affect has being registered to Treatments You Can Trust had on your clinics? Have you experienced an increase in business or anything like that?
We have had a noticeable increase in our non-surgical treatments in general at Tracey Bell. I would like to say registration has played a part, but I think the economic growth stems from consumer demand, consumer experience, word of mouth and great treatments that The Tracey Bell Clinic provides. The cosmetic surgery industry is still booming, despite the country’s economic instability we have seen of late and it is actually predicted that cosmetic surgery procedures will exceed 55 million in 2015.
The industry is well aware of what is driving all this, as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) explains: “Pushing this growth is increasing consumer awareness, direct-to-consumer marketing and advertising, as well as technological advances in non-surgical options.”
By 2015, it is also predicted that 88 percent of all cosmetic procedures will be non-surgical. Our consumers are aware that they can achieve their aesthetic goals without going under the knife. The Tracey Bell Clinic being registered as a trusted pioneer of treatments helps us to educate and build trust with our clientele, but it is only one of the factors affecting our increase.
Why is it so important to cut down on the number of ‘cowboys’ in the cosmetic surgery and dental industry?
Cosmetic injectables are a medical treatment. They involve certain risks and I believe that provision should not be awarded without thorough education, training, experience and long-term results – a severe lack of this will rubbish the reputation of injectables. ‘Cowboys’ arrive in every industry – builders, car-sales, retails – the list goes on. However, when this is applied to injectables it is seriously jeopardising a patient’s health, safety and their lives could be put at risk. Cowboys – I’d shoot them at dawn – but hopefully, with the correct regulations and with patients becoming wary and savvy regarding their treatment – the bigger authorities, in time, will do that for us.