Cosmetic Surgery Negligence Claims
Cosmetic surgery is becoming ever more popular with more and more people opting to undergo some kind of procedure in order to enhance or improve their physical appearance.
As a result, the number of cosmetic surgery negligence cases in the UK is on the increase.
At Mackenzie Jones we understand that an undesirable outcome can have a devastating effect and can cause not only physical but emotional distress.
We also recognise that patients often find it particularly difficult to complain, because they feel that as they opted for surgery, any complications are just something that they should accept.
Claims often arise because surgery has not been carried out with the necessary care and skill by the Surgeon or because unnecessary complications have arisen following surgery.
Cosmetic surgery claims differ from traditional clinical negligence claims in that the surgery is elective, most patients self-refer and the surgery is almost always carried out in the private sector rather than on the NHS. This can raise some complex legal issues which must be taken into account.
Most patients undergoing cosmetic surgery will have paid privately for their treatment and entered into a legal contract with a private clinic/provider. These clinics/providers will often try to deny liability asserting that the surgeon was acting independently. The wording of the contract will need to be looked at very carefully.
An establishment providing cosmetic surgery is an "independent hospital" within the meaning of Section 2 of the Care Standards Act 2000 and must therefore be registered. The government has also published National Minimum Standards which, whilst they do not have the force of the law, should be taken into account when an independent hospital seeks registration. These standards set, for example, the minimum time between an initial consultation and the surgical procedure and guidance as to whether psychological counseling should be recommended.
Under the Private and Voluntary Health Care (England) Regulations 2001 patients about to undergo cosmetic surgery should be provided with a written guide about their treatment, to include the terms and conditions of the contract.
Non-surgical treatments such as botox or dermal filler injections do not fall within the statutory definition of cosmetic surgery and therefore providers and clinics are not regulated. These procedures are often perceived by the public to be minor procedures, but they can cause significant injury when wrongly administered.
If you or a member of your family has suffered an undesirable outcome following cosmetic surgery or a non-surgical treatment, then you may have grounds to make a claim for compensation. If so, we can help.