• 12Jun

    GMC guidance specifies information support for patients undergoing cosmetic surgery

    The General Medical Council has published draft guidance for doctors who offer cosmetic interventions, and are inviting comments as part of the consultation process.

    The draft guidance specifies that patients need to be given enough time and information before they decide whether to have an intervention. It states that doctors must communicate clearly with patients and consider any needs they may have for support to participate effectively in decision making.

    During the consent process doctors will be required to make clear to prospective patients that alternative interventions may be available from other practitioners, and that they must give patients the information they want or need, including:

    • Options for treating or managing the patient’s condition or the physical feature about which they have concerns, including the option not to treat
    • The purpose of any proposed intervention and what it will involve
    • The potential benefits, risks and burdens, and the likelihood of success, for each option; this should include information, if available, about whether the benefits or risks are affected by which organisation or practitioner they choose to provide the intervention
    • Whether a proposed intervention is an innovative intervention and, if so, what arrangements exist to protect the patient’s safety
    • The people who will be mainly responsible for and involved in their care and what their roles are
    • Their right to seek a second opinion
    • Any bills they will have to pay
    • Any conflicts of interest that the doctor or organisation may have
    • Any interventions that the doctor believes have greater potential benefit for the patient than those they or their organisation can offer.

    The consultation asks for comments on their requirements around consent, and giving patients enough information and time to reach an informed decision about whether to proceed with the intervention. It also asks about whether there is a need for information for patients about the guidance.

    You can read the consultation document here.