Make sure that the practitioner is an expert in the type of treatment/s you are interested in. Any practicing medical professional should have graduate or post-graduate training in the treatments they are providing. They must be registered and licensed by the General Medical Council, the General Dental Council or the Nursing and Midwifery Council. For your peace of mind, all EV practitioners must be registered with the relevant professional body to be featured on the platform.
Look for appropriate accreditation with professional associations, such as the British College of Aesthetic Medicine (BCAM), Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP), British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN), British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS), British Association of Hair Restoration Surgery (BAHRS) and the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS). Members of these associations must be fully trained and undergo a level of continuous professional development.
Save Face is a government approved national register of accredited practitioners who provide non-surgical cosmetic treatments. Save Face vets and registers cosmetic injectables specialists to provide you with peace of mind when you are searching for cosmetic treatments.
Reviews and ratings
These days there is a wealth of information readily available online. When researching a doctor or clinic, it is a good idea to look at any reviews or ratings. While reviews are subjective and can’t be relied upon as a definitive reflection of a practice, they will help you to get a feel for the satisfaction levels of previous customers.
Personal recommendations from trusted people are worth their weight in gold. Have friends, family or colleagues experienced a procedure that you’re interested in? Was it a positive one? Other medical experts, such as your GP, may also be able to recommend a practitioner.
Transparency of costs
It’s always worth paying a bit more for quality care. Make sure you have complete clarity about the costs involved. Some clinics charge initial consultation and/or follow up fees. If you are searching beyond EV, ensure costs are clear on website or marketing materials and feel free to call and ask practitioners to confirm treatment costs.
Before and after photographs
Reliable before and after photography can be extremely helpful when researching treatments. Images can help you to understand the effects of a treatment and realistic expectations of the results. Good photography plays a significant role in influencing a customer’s decision to go ahead with a treatment.
A trustworthy practitioner will be able to present you with authentic before and after imagery. This can be done within EV’s virtual consultation function, as well as within face-to-face appointments.
Unfortunately, some practitioners do use camera techniques to improve or alter the appearance of before and after photographs to create an unrealistic impression of the results of a treatment. Look out for lighting, flash photography, exposure and camera angle, which can be used to distort images by erasing shadows and wrinkles and altering face shape.
What to expect
This section will help you to feel confident about what you can expect from a practitioner and their practice. Consultations usually take place at the practice and last around an hour. EV gives you the option to book an obligation-free virtual consultation with experts.
Booking a virtual consultation is a cost-effective and time-saving way to speak to practitioners without any commitment.
Respect for you and your time
Unless otherwise agreed, you should expect to meet the practitioner with whom you had your consultation in person. A good practitioner will take the time to listen to your individual needs and expectations. They, along with their staff, should be friendly, polite, professional and welcoming.
Whether it’s remote or in person, a consultation is not a commitment from either party. You are on a fact-finding journey and should never feel pressured into committing to a treatment before you have had a cooling off period to consider whether the treatment and practitioner is right for you.
Understanding the facts
You should be given a clear explanation of what your treatment will involve, including:
- Risks or contraindications
- All costs
- How soon you should see results
- Recovery time
- Aftercare and follow-up requirements.
They should be happy and able to provide answers to any questions that you have about your treatment or their practice.
An appropriate setting
Your first consultation should provide lots of information about the clinic or practice, which will be helpful when forming your impression and deciding whether to continue with the treatment.
If you’re meeting them in person, observe how clean and tidy the space is. Does it feel organised and professional? Make a mental note of the atmosphere. Are you made to feel welcome?
A therapeutic bond
It is important that you feel comfortable and secure in your practitioner’s company. You should find them attentive, empathic and open to any questions you have. If you feel this is lacking and are uncertain about going forward with the treatment, you should not feel obliged or pressured to continue.
Questions to ask yourself to help inform your opinion, include:
- Can I trust this person to recommend what is safe and right for me?
- Do I feel comfortable asking the surgeon any questions I might have throughout the process?
- Do I feel comfortable disclosing my medical history and habits to this surgeon
Is the treatment right for you?
You will be asked to complete a form to ensure that the treatment is appropriate for you. Have your medical history information ready, including medical problems that run in your immediate family.
You may wish to ask if you can fill out this paperwork beforehand in order to both speed up the process and so that you can prepare any questions the form may flag up.
It is important that you provide an accurate, complete and truthful health history, as this is instrumental to any practitioner in ensuring they can provide care appropriate to your needs. Failure to do so may result in harm or increased risk of harm, and you are unlikely to have redress if you fail to disclose material points.
You will be asked to sign a ‘consent to treatment’ form before your treatment. If you are uncertain, you do not need to sign this on the day. It is important that you do not feel pressured to make any quick decisions. As such, you can ask to take the form away so that you can read it at your leisure, before you sign and return it to the practice if you decide to continue.
What to ask the practitioner
This section outlines the information you should equip yourself with before you decide to go ahead with your treatment.
- Make sure you are confident in their level of expertise, training and accreditation
- Find out how frequently they perform the treatment: it is common for practitioners to specialise in particular treatments so you will want to be reassured that they are well matched to meet your requirements
- Understand how the treatment works and will be delivered
- Understand how soon you should see results and what you will look like immediately after the procedure
- Discuss and agree any aftercare and follow up arrangements, and make sure you are clear about how you can be contacted and can contact them
- Finding out whether there is a recovery period. This will help you to decide whether this is the right time for you to have the procedure
- Confirm the full costs, including any potential consultation or aftercare fees
- Confirm if there is an emergency number should something go wrong
Your right to complain
Everyone should be able to expect a positive experience and a good outcome to their treatment. If you have a concern or complaint, you have a right to be listened to and treated with respect. In the first instance, contact your practitioner to discuss the issue and find out whether the problem can be resolved to your satisfaction.
If you are unable to resolve your complaint with the practitioner or clinic, you have the right to contact the relevant statutory Professional Regulator.