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Cosmetic Surgery/Laser Eye Surgery

Volume 447: debated on Monday 12 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidance her Department provides to private health providers in respect of after-care treatment following (a) laser eye surgery and (b) cosmetic surgery; (75550)

(2) how many people experienced complications following (a) laser eye surgery and (b) cosmetic surgery in each of the last five years;

(3) how many individuals sought NHS treatment following complications with (a) laser eye surgery and (b) cosmetic surgery carried out by private health providers in each of the last five years; and at what estimated cost to the NHS in each year;

(4) what estimate she has made of the number of individuals having laser eye correction surgery in England on the NHS in each of the last five years.

The Department does not provide guidance to private health care establishments as cosmetic surgery and laser eye surgery takes place within the independent sector. However, the Private and Voluntary Healthcare Regulations 2001 and the associated national minimum standards ensure that all aspects of the treatment and services provided by cosmetic surgery and laser eye surgery providers are safe and quality assured, and establishments are inspected by the Healthcare Commission.

Providers must comply with regulations and there are national minimum standards—core standards that cover general issues that apply to all types of private care, and service specific standards that relate to the use of class 4 lasers used in laser eye surgery. These national minimum standards are published by the Secretary of State for Health under section 23 (1) of the Care Standards Act 2000. The standards refer to appropriate patient selection and specific instructions to patient relatives and community services if appropriate. Post-operative information must be provided for patients specific to each procedure undertaken in a day surgical unit.

Information about complications and patients who have sought national health service treatment following complications with cosmetic surgery or laser eye surgery is not collected by the Department.