Pryers Solicitors

Laws should be tightened on Botox, says Royal College of Surgeons

A BBC investigation into two disgraced nurses offering “Botox Parties” has lead to calls for laws surrounding who can administer Botox to be tightened.

Currently it is not illegal for an untrained person to inject Botox. The Royal College of Surgeons believe laws should be tightened to ensure only people with the proper training are administering it.

Botulinum toxin, Botox, is a prescription-only drug. It can only be prescribed by a doctor, dentist or prescribing nurse to a single patient, to be used on that patient only.

The BBC investigation found that two men were staging “Botox parties” in private homes and beauty salons.

The appeal of these “parties” is that the procedures can be up to half of the cost, and the organiser’s treatment is free.

The men were once registered nurses, but have both been ordered by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to stop practicing, making it illegal for them to prescribe any medicines.

One of the men, Jonathan Henk, says he is a nurse with 26 years experience. Yet in 2012 he was struck off by the NMC. He is now illegally prescribing Botox to people for £200 a time.

Some of his clients told the BBC that they were left in severe pain following the procedure.

The second man, James Kearsey, was suspended by the NMC in November 2015.

An undercover reporter went for a consultation at Mr Kearsey’s home where he told her that he was a nurse consultant and was “the same level as a doctor”.

The NMC has told the BBC that they would investigate Mr Kearsey: “As he is currently temporarily suspended from the register he should not be undertaking any activity that would be done by a registered nurse, including prescribing medicines.”

In relation to Mr Henk, she added: “Mr Henk who has been struck off the register, should not be claiming to be a registered nurse or undertaking any activity that would require him to be on the precessional register, including prescribing medicines.”

This investigation highlights the grey area that surrounds legislation in cosmetic procedures. Although the government promised in rules 2013 following Sir Bruce Keogh’s report into the PIP breast implant scandal, no legislation has yet to be passed.

Jenny Barton solicitor at Pryers, specialist clinical negligence solicitors, said:

“Any procedure, however minor it may be made to seem, carries risk and we have seen the terrible effects of Botox when things go wrong. It is crucial that any procedure of this nature is carried out by a properly trained and fully qualified clinician.”

A spokesman for the department of health told the BBC: “In adopting the recommendations of the Keogh Review, we are working to improve the safety of cosmetic interventions through better training and robust qualifications for practitioners.”