|Dear Friends, Colleagues and Partners,
The Government have outlined their plan for this phase of the Covid-19 Recovery Strategy as: "Those who cannot work from home should return to work if they can do so safely."
The British College of Aesthetic Medicine (BCAM) has published Counsel’s opinion confirming it is lawful to start seeing patients again where it is safe to do so and in the context of being medical practitioners. This opinion sets the medically qualified professions apart from beauty therapists and non-medical aestheticians who are not qualified to provide medical care.
The policies and protocols issued alongside the legal guidance received by BCAM, set out the framework of how we might deliver medical care safely for our patients. This includes triage, assessing medical purpose and need: which only a medically trained person can decide. Those deciding to see patients must do so safely but also within the guidance issued in Good Medical Practice and The Nursing Code… putting patients’ health as their first concern.
There has been some confusion that following the release of a recent JCCP statement that all procedures performed by Aesthetic Medical practitioners are ‘cosmetic’. This reflects a poor understanding of why patients present in the context of our clinics, and indeed a lack of understanding of medical purpose in the context of aesthetic medicine.
It is accepted within case law that the only person who can determine medical purpose is the clinician. Case law also holds that medical purpose is not necessarily narrow, and that medical purpose includes preventative medicine, physical, diagnostic, psychological and psychosocial concerns. To dismiss these concerns would be to trivialise our patients needs and fail in our duty of care.
Each clinician should examine their own practice and take into account how they can manage their patients’ needs within the framework of the law and in compliance with the high standards expected of us by the public.