Scotland deemed "worst in Europe" for unqualified injectors

Scotland has been named the ‘worst country in Europe’ for unqualified injectors administering aesthetic procedures.

A recent BBC News article highlights the UK's concerning lack of regulation when it comes to injectable treatments like dermal filler. Unlike other countries around the world, the UK does not have regulations permitting only trained healthcare professionals to administer injectable treatments.

Woman receiving filler injections. Dangers of unqualifies injectors
Woman receiving filler injection

Scotland finds itself under the microscope due to the fact we also lack a ban on under 18s receiving these treatments. This is in contrast to England who have had a ban in place since 2021.

The concerning lack of regulation means that virtually anyone in the UK can become an aesthetic injector. You are not legally required to have a medical background in order to be accepted to a training course. Not only that, but you can also administer treatments in a non-clinical setting such as a hairdressers or someone's home.

As a result of the unregulated landscape, complication rates are on the rise. These complications can be serious and include infections, necrosis, and blindness. The situation is further fuelled by social media advertising. Around 90% of people looking to get filler and Botox find unqualified injectors through platforms like Instagram.

In the BBC article, the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN) brought attention to the prevalence of unlicensed and counterfeit products, such as Botox. This poses further risks to patient safety.

Not only does the patient not know what is being injected into their body, but the ingredients often used in counterfeit products can cause adverse reactions within the body

Photo of Mr Taimur Shoaib Consultant Plastic Surgeon
Mr Taimur Shoaib, La Belle Forme Medical Director

La Belle Forme's Medical Director, Mr Shoaib, was featured in an article in Aesthetic Medicine on 22nd March 2024. Commenting on the current lack of regulation he added:

They call it an industry but actually we’re a medical speciality and this is why the situation is no better in the rest of the UK where unregulated lays can inject without consequences, when they cause complications to the unsuspecting public.

Licensed products go through rigorous testing before they are allowed to be used; every single batch of the product has to be tested and approved before being distributed.

Botulinum toxin (wrinkle relaxing injections) is a prescription-only medication, and acquiring the toxin without a prescription is illegal. However, without robust regulation, it is very easy for unqualified injectors to order the toxin online from untrustworthy pharmacies.

In 2022 the Scottish government said it would aim to ensure that all cosmetic treatments were carried out by appropriately trained professionals, but no details have been published since.

If you are interested in getting these treatments done, it is essential you consider this information to keep yourself informed and safe. Before attending a practitioner ask yourself whether they are qualified to handle possible complications, if they administer treatments in a sterile clinical setting, or whether they are using legitimate, safe products.


Read the full BBC article

Find our more about choosing the right aesthetic injector 

Discover Mr Shoaib's full article

Taimur Shoaib Comments on suggestion Scotland is ‘worst in Europe’ for risky fillers.

Failure to Regulate Cosmetic Injectables

“The Scottish Government should be ashamed of themselves, allowing the good people of Scotland to be placed at risk, for failing to regulate the cosmetic injectables medical specialty,” said La Belle Forme Medical Director Mr Taimur Shoaib.

Mr Shoaib’s quote was featured in an article in Aesthetic Medicine on 22nd March 2024. The quote was in response to recent news stories about the lack of regulation in the aesthetic salon sector. Hairdressers and beauticians can inject patients’ faces with no regard for consequences and no regulation of their activities. Heavily regulated, legitimate, medical facilities end up picking up the pieces when amateur injectors put people at risk.

The absence of legislation has led to an influx of unqualified practitioners and has contributed to a rise in complications associated with cosmetic procedures, including infections, necrosis, and blindness. Additionally, the prevalence of unlicensed and counterfeit products, such as Botox, poses further risks to patient safety.

They call it an industry but actually we’re a medical speciality and this is why the situation is no better in the rest of the UK where unregulated lays can inject without consequences, when they cause complications to the unsuspecting public.

Despite calls for action and promises from the Scottish government to ensure that cosmetic treatments are performed by trained professionals, no concrete steps have been taken. This lack of regulation has prompted concerns about patient safety and the need for stricter oversight in the sector.


Read the full story here.

See the BBC report on this story

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La Belle Forme First in UK To Gain ISO 9001 Award

La Belle Forme Is ISO9001 UK First

La Belle Forme Medical Director Taimur Shoaib receives the ISO9001 certificate from BSI Managing Director Matt Page

La Belle Forme at the Glasgow Day Surgery Centre became the first cosmetic surgery provider in the UK to be awarded the prestigious ISO 9001 accreditation from the British Standards Institution (BSI).

At an award ceremony earlier this month, La Belle Forme was presented with the ISO 9001 accreditation by the BSI managing director, Matt Page who travelled from Milton Keynes to deliver the hospital’s certificate.

ISO 9001 is the world’s most recognised quality management system standard, established by the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO). Achieving an ISO 9001 accreditation proves an organisation implements clear, consistent, and repeatable processes to maintain a quality service for their customers.

In simple terms, ISO 9001 certification provides the basis for effective processes and effective people to deliver an effective product or service time after time. The key to any successful business is strong quality control.

The standard is based on a number of quality management principles including customer focus, leadership, improvement and evidence-based decision-making.

The ISO 9001 project was led by La Belle Forme Quality Manager, Gemma Maguire, who guided management through the BSI assessment. The first stage of the assessment took place in April 2023 followed by a two-day on-site inspection the following month.

Quality Manager Gemma Maguire with the ISO9001 Award
La Belle Forme Quality Manager Gemma Maguire with the ISO 9001 Award

Commenting on the achievement, Quality Manager Gemma said:

“Since opening the Glasgow Day Surgery Centre in 2020 our aim has always been to achieve this award. To be the first cosmetic surgery provider in the UK to have this accolade is really something we are all very proud of.

It was a real privilege leading the team through this process, and we continue to work daily to ensure we meet the standards we have set out for ourselves.”

Operations Director Chris McAvoy is also delighted with the news.

“Quality has always been a priority for our team. Gaining this accreditation solidifies that as a business we have the processes in place to ensure continuous improvement of our services.”

Aesthetic Surgeon of the Year 2023

Taimur Shoaib Aesthetic Surgeon of the year 2023La Belle Forme Medical Director Taimur Shoaib was named Aesthetic Surgeon of the year at the Aesthetic Excellence Awards Scotland 2023 held on June 2th in Edinburgh.

This annual event, which was held at the Delta by Marriott Hotel Edinburgh, celebrates the outstanding achievements of individuals and businesses that have pushed the boundaries of artistic expression and creativity.

Each winner has showcased extraordinary talent, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to advancing the field of aesthetics in Scotland. Their contributions have not only raised the bar of excellence but have also inspired others to embrace creativity and innovation within the industry.

A Spokesperson for the Aesthetic Excellence Awards Scotland said: “We are thrilled to honour the remarkable achievements of the winners of the Aesthetic Excellence Awards Scotland 2023. Their commitment to pushing boundaries, pursuing excellence, and making a positive impact on the aesthetics landscape in Scotland is truly commendable. We congratulate all the finalists and winners and look forward to witnessing their future endeavours.”

Book A Consultation With Mr Shoaib

Richard Clark Plastic Surgeon La Belle Forme - Glasgow Day Surgery Centre

Richard Clark Certified Cosmetic Surgeon

Intercollegiate-Image La Belle Forme - Glasgow Day Surgery Centre
Richard Clark Plastic Surgeon La Belle Forme - Glasgow Day Surgery Centre
Intercollegiate Cosmetic Surgery Certificate Richard Clark La Belle Forme - Glasgow Day Surgery Centre

La Belle Forme Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Richard Clark, MB ChB MRCSGlasg, MD, FRCSGlasg(Plast) has been granted the Intercollegiate Cosmetic Surgery Certificate. 

The new certification provides evidence-based acknowledgement of a surgeon’s work in the cosmetic field

Currently, there is no Royal College of Surgeons sub-faculty which offers specialist cosmetic training as part of a surgeon’s qualifications. A cosmetic surgeon could be a Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon; an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon; an ENT Surgeon: and so on. All of these surgical sub-specialities have faculties dedicated to them within the Royal College of Surgeons. However, theoretically, any surgeon who does “aesthetic surgery” can call themselves a “Cosmetic Surgeon”. The new certification helps to highlight and certificate those surgeons who have considerable experience in the areas of cosmetic surgery.

Cosmetic Surgeon Certificate

The Intercollegiate Cosmetic Surgery Certification Scheme is supported by a process that aims to provide accreditation of competencies (including professional behaviours, clinical skills, knowledge and experience) in defined areas of cosmetic surgery.

It was initially developed by the Royal College of Surgeons of England through a Cosmetic Surgery Interspecialty Committee comprising a wide range of stakeholders including representatives of the surgical colleges in the UK and Ireland, the relevant Surgical Specialty Associations (SSAs), patients, providers and regulators. Its role was to respond to the review into the regulation of cosmetic interventions in 2013, led by the Department of Health, which recommended a more robust regulatory framework that provides protection against the potential risks from cosmetic procedures. The certification process is an important step in this direction by recognising those surgeons who have the appropriate training, qualifications and experience in the area of cosmetic surgery in which they practise, by supporting patient choice and by promoting confidence in the quality of training and practice in cosmetic surgery.

The process and the criteria on which it relies have been reviewed and updated by the Intercollegiate Cosmetic Surgery Oversight Committee.

Botox and Wrinkle Relaxing Injections Advertising to End

Tightening of advertising rules on botulinum toxin injections by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) through the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has been welcomed by La Belle Forme.

Botulinum toxin injections – most commonly Botox, but also Vistabel, Dysport, Bocouture, and Azzalure – are prescription-only medicines (POMs).
The new rules state that botulinum injections, cannot be legally advertised on social media, including adverts, marketing posts and promotional advertising offering Botox treatments as a competition prize.
Advice from the ASA is that any direct reference to botulinum toxins (including names such as Brotox, Beautytox or Beautox) in advertising images or hashtags should be removed. In addition, the committee warns not to use alternatives such as ‘wrinkle relaxing injections’ as this will still count as promotion of a prescription-only medicine. References to ‘anti-wrinkle injections’ alongside a price will also be counted as an advert.
Clinics will also be unable to promote treatments that that suggests promotion of a prescription-only medicine, for example ‘injections for excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)’.

Treatments Require A Consultation

La Belle Forme will continue to provide treatments using Botox post-consultation, the only difference being that we will not advertise this service on our website or through social media. Unlike La Belle Forme, many other clinics and beauticians do promote Botox and other POM and will probably continue to do so. It is hoped that tightening of the regulations will result in this practice being addressed through enforcement leading to prosecution.
The ASA has allowed a grace period until 31 January to allow clinics to voluntarily remove adverts that do not comply with the new rules. From 1 February, monitoring technology will be used to detect non-compliant posts and to serve enforcement notices.

The CAP writes advertising rules, which are enforced by ASA, the UK’s independent advertising regulator. You can read about the UK advertising regulatory system on the ASA website.

Call For Dermal Filler Treatments To Be Better Regulated

La Belle Forme Medical Director Mr Taimur Shoaib called for dermal filler treatments to be better regulated in Scotland. “This will ensure the industry is better controlled and that treatment could only be carried out under the umbrella of medically trained staff such as Doctors, Dentists and Nurses”.

“Right now, the only regulation is through Healthcare Improvement Scotland who is doing a fantastic job ensuring patient safety when fillers are performed by healthcare professionals. However, there is no regulation for fillers when they are performed by a beautician and that is a serious failure of the Scottish Government when it comes to ensuring patient safety”.

“Whilst the vast majority of filler injections are completely safe and without any complications, when a problem does happen, the practitioner needs to be able to recognise it and deal with it. All the complications of filler require prescription treatment, so anyone giving fillers needs to have treatment protocols in place so that they can ensure they have a safe practice”.

Mr Shoaib was responding to the latest news stories about botched filler treatments. Midwife Karen McCrimmon was left in agony after having lip fillers at a beautician-led, Glasgow-based, clinic according to a news article on the BBC website today.

“Basically the blood flow had been stopped to the rest of my face and it was getting worse by the minute,” Karen said. “It was a medical emergency”.

At La Belle Forme we often see similar cases were a patient comes to us to fixed a botched treatment “At La Belle Forme have a long history of correcting injections that have gone wrong. We offer a high level of expertise in this area. As one of the longest established clinics in Glasgow, we offer a safe, highly effective service with excellent backup in case of problems” said Mr Shoaib.

La Belle Forme is Scotland’s longest established medical cosmetic and surgery clinic, owned and run by multi-award-winning plastic surgeon Taimur Shoaib. The clinic was established in 2009 and has won multiple awards over the years including Best Clinic in Britain, Best Clinic in Scotland, Best Reception Team in the UK, Best Plastic Surgeon in Scotland, and Best Plastic Surgeon in the UK. Mr Shoaib is one of only seven senior doctors in the UK who train for Allergan, the largest global producer of dermal fillers.

Horror Stories

A recent BBC news story highlighted some of the many issues caused by un regulated injectors –

Lockdown lip fillers gone wrong: ‘My lips went black’

Jamie Genevieve Vlogs Breast Surgery Journey

Jamie Genevieve

Jamie Genevieve who had breast surgery at La Belle FormeLa Belle Forme celebrity client Jamie Genevieve talked to fans about her latest breast surgery via her YouTube Vlog this week.

The social media sensation has a following of over 1.4 million people who regularly view her make-up tutorials or YouTube vlogs.

Jamie has taken the decision to have her breasts reduced in size by changing to a smaller implant. Jamie says that she no longer thinks her current implants are the right size for her frame. It’s a decision she had been considering for around a year.

Jamie talks through how she had to have her makeup, nails, and piercings removed ahead of surgery – she called it  ‘stripping right back for her recovery process’

Loads of fans had asked  for further details about the surgery. In response, Jamie said “it’s the same surgeon that did my breast augmentation the first time. Dr Shoaib is the owner of La Belle Forme where I have been going for years he really is great. When I went to see him about getting my implants changed, I actually talked about just getting them out full stop but we both decided that the results wouldn’t be quite what I was looking for. He’s just been brilliant. He really made me think about it. I’m really excited about getting it done”

The Vlog finished with Jamie talking about having her ‘goonie’ (dressing gown) on, ready for surgery, and how she will post updates about her post-surgery recovery.

The full clip can be viewed on YouTube.

Find out more about breast surgery options.

Read more about Jamie and her new Vieve range in Forbes magazine.

Plastic Surgery Undressed

Everyone who is interested in plastic surgery will be excited to note that BBC 3 have announced Plastic Surgery Undressed, presented by Mobeen Azhar and Vogue Williams. The 3-part show is said to give viewers information and facts about some of Britain’s most talked-about cosmetic procedures.

Plastic Surgery Undressed will focus on a different operation for each episode:

Recent research suggests that nearly half of the UK’s aged 18-34-years-olds say they are considering surgery.

The BBC say that the volume of conflicting advice on the internet and paid social media promotion can make it “difficult to separate the reliable from the misleading. Unrealistic expectations, rushed decisions and the option to travel abroad for potentially dangerous procedures have led to some ultimately regretting their choice. Plastic Surgery Undressed aims to inform those thinking about cosmetic surgery with the facts they need in order to make the right decision for them.”

In each programme, four people who are all considering having the same procedure will be brought into a studio to learn as much as they can about the procedure they want – each joined by an opinionated friend or family member. They will watch a live feed from a nearby hospital as a leading plastic surgeon performs the procedure on one of their pre-existing patients. Will witnessing the invasive and potentially painful reality of the operation impact their decision to go under the knife in the future?

Throughout the process, the group will discuss and explore the positives and the negatives of cosmetic surgery while also examining how Britain’s wider attitudes to beauty, body image and mental health are evolving. Studio guests with both negative and positive personal experiences of the procedure will help broaden the group’s understanding of the risks and rewards surrounding the operation. By listening to the negative stories they rarely see on social media, as well as hearing from people whose surgery was a success, the people contemplating the procedure will be able to weigh up the benefits, risks and significant financial cost.

While none of the contributors will receive plastic surgery themselves at the end of the process, will any of them still consider going ahead with the surgery in the future?

Episodes are available online starting with Rhinoplasty.

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David Dunaway Helps Separate Conjoined Twins

It is fantastic to see that our friend and colleague David Dunaway has been involved in the highly intricate and delicate surgery that involves separating conjoined twins.

Mr Dunaway used to be a plastic surgeon in the world-famous Canniesburn plastic surgery unit in Glasgow.

This unit has a reputation as being a worldwide centre of excellence and it is where La Belle Former lead surgeon Mr Shoaib worked as a consultant before leaving the NHS 5 years ago. At Canniesburn Mr Shoaib had a special interest in head and neck plastic surgery treating patients with cancers of the face and mouth performing excisions and reconstructions.

Mr Shoaib has a special fondness for Mr Dunaway under whom he trained when he was a junior surgeon. Mr Dunaway now has a special interest in craniofacial surgery in London and we are all delighted to see that his special skills are being put to such excellent use in performing the delicate and intricate surgery that is required to separate two children who are joined together and share a skull.

Professor Dunaway CBE, FDSRCS, FRCS (Plast) is a world-renowned Plastic and Craniofacial Surgeon with over 15 years of experience in private practice.

He proudly leads the world-famous craniofacial unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and is actively involved in teaching and research, both nationally and internationally. He is one of the few plastic surgeons who provide specialist care to children within the private sector.

For more information on this remarkable surgery please visit the BBC news websites.