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Special Feature Aesthetic Organisations


Aesthetics Journal


IHAS (Independent Healthcare Advisory Services)

PIAPA (Private Independent Practices Association)

What is IHAS? IHAS is a division of the Association of Independent Healthcare Organisations (AIHO), the trade association for independent hospitals. What does it do? Within the last decade IHAS has had a significant role in the operational policy and regulation in the independent healthcare sector. AIHO/IHAS works in tandem with ISCAS, the Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service, which provides an independent review stage for third stage complaints from independent hospitals and clinics. Private patients treated in the UK do not have access to the Public Services Ombudsman for resolving complaints. Member benefits: IHAS offers networking opportunities through its medical revalidation workstream for all the Responsible Officers in the sector, who meet on a regular basis with the GMC. It also assists with the development of the National Workforce minimum dataset, so workforce data can be captured from the independent sector in conjunction with the NHS. The future: “IHAS has maintained its relationships with the system regulators in all four countries and with the professional regulators,” says director Sally Taber. “IHAS was asked by the previous government to set up a self- regulation scheme for cosmetic injectables. Treatments You Can Trust (TYCT) has been established since 2010 to ensure the quality assurance of those who undertake cosmetic injectables.”

What is PIAPA? PIAPA was founded by a group of aesthetic nurses in 2004 with the aim of offering support to independent practitioners. What does it do? PIAPA aims to promote safety, integrity and clinical excellence within the industry. Board members regularly meet with Health Education England and the Nursing and Midwifery Council to discuss the implementation of new regulations and practise guidelines. Member benefits: Members can expect to receive training opportunities, access to business coaching, certificate of membership, NMC and revalidation information, discretionary discounts and portfolio and APEL advice. The future: Co-founder of PIAPA Yvonne Senior, said “PIAPA was created to support, reassure and improve practitioners, and as we face a pivotal time of change in medical aesthetics, we plan to do exactly the same in the future.”

IHAS links with AIHO, representing over 200 hospitals nationally.

PIAPA has more than 200 members.

SOMUK (Society of Mesotherapy UK)

Save Face

What is SOMUK? SOMUK is the only society specialising in Mesotherapy in the UK, with membership available to all interested medical professionals. What does it do? SOMUK aims to establish and maintain standards of clinical excellence in the science of mesotherapy. It also acts as a resource for safe ethical practice and strives for the development of evidence-based medicine in support of the use of mesotherapy. It further aims to elevate mesotherapy as a recognised established therapy in aesthetics and pain management, and aims to work closely with authorities and insurance companies in order to ensure the safe practice of mesotherapy. Member benefits: Members are updated with information on mesotherapy, are able to attend congresses at a reduced fee, and potentially receive free of charge training courses. Members are actively encouraged to engage in networking both nationally and internationally to share experiences, ideas and innovation in order to improve and maintain standards of safe ethical practice. The future: “Within one year we are proud to have become official partners of well-known national and international congresses, which is a great benefit for members and the development of mesotherapy in the UK,” said Dr Philippe Hamida-Pisal, president of SOMUK. “One of our main goals for the future is to set up a post-graduate university diploma in Pain Management using mesotherapy.”

What is Save Face? Save Face is the largest voluntary register of accredited practitioners in the UK. The organisation provides consumers with information on non-surgical treatments so that they can be fully informed when deciding on aesthetic procedures. Save Face is not a substitute for membership with a professional body. What does it do? Save Face aims to educate and protect the consumer. Its support packages aim to add value to practitioners, whilst the organisation hopes to establish an objective set of standards, which both practitioners and clinics can be measured against in order to achieve accreditation. Member benefits: Practitioners must pay to register with Save Face and will receive an independent inspection and verification of their standards in practise, and a means to gather and present their evidence when required for appraisal, revalidation, insurance, and job applications. Save Face offers a verification process, providing policies and forms of support to ensure safe running of clinics. Members can also receive discounted services. The future: “We need to build consumer confidence in the safety of these treatments when delivered by safe hands in a safe environment using safe products,” said Emma Davies, clinical director of Save Face. “The consumer needs a credible register that provides more than just a register, whilst professionals need to recognise the place for – and value of – this model of self-regulation, and support it.”


SOMUK has a current membership of 47 interested parties.

Since August Save Face has accredited 110 practitioners across 200 UK locations.

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