Pete Richardson looks at a thorny problem for medics – and suggests there may be a simple answer.
Social media lit up over the weekend with a debate about how medics should respond to calls for help from non-medics in aesthetics.
Dr Tim Pearce raised the issue and posed a range of questions following a call for help.
He introduced his Facebook post like this:
“In the last 12 hours, social networks, WhatsApp groups and inboxes have been frantic as a network of registered aesthetic healthcare professionals mobilise their contacts to try and help yet another patient treated by a non-professional injector get in front of someone equipped to help with a blocked facial artery”.
He the rightly goes on to praise medics who are volunteering to help despite having no relationship with either the injector or the client, who are helping “FOR FREE”.
He then poses the question “…….but are we making a mistake being the hero?”
Are medics helping in this situation just helping to “protect a broken system” in this unregulated world?
The answer surely must be to find a structured way that medics can use their undoubted skills to support and assist aesthetic practitioners rather than complaining about not being paid to help those you fundamentally don’t believe should be practising?
The Association of Cosmetic Practitioners is doing just that.
Non-medics can join the ACPB, a registered charity, and sign up to a professional code of practice. This is supported by a group of medics who offer clinical oversight and prescribing services. A 24-hour helpline is available to assist with exactly these scenarios.
And maybe the next step is raise funds to support additional work by medics for manning the helpline and offering other services to the membership.
Maybe even join and assist with the creation of the inspectorate which will begin to police standards so we can work together.
Dr Pearce asks: “We all love to help….but perhaps you’re helping a broken dangerous system thrive if you take on this responsibility for free…..What are your thoughts”
The more medics that support their expert non-medical colleagues the more the public will be protected – so should we support the work of the ACPB and continue to develop more ways to improve standards and create mechanisms that deliver expert help, advice and training?
A 24-hour helpline? A network of clinical oversight? A professional code of conduct? A fundraising initiative to help reward work? Additional first aid and adverse effects training?
Is the ACPB the answer?