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RCOG policy briefing: GMC guidance for doctors who offer cosmetic interventions

News 1 August 2016

In April 2016, the General Medical Council (GMC) published their guidance for doctors who carry out cosmetic procedures. This came into force on 1 June 2016.

This guidance provides information to doctors about their duties including discussing risks, obtaining patient consent themselves, giving patients time to reflect and where appropriate, having multi-disciplinary team discussions on the patient’s suitability and taking into account their particular vulnerabilities and psychological needs. It also highlights a doctor’s responsibilities in relation to marketing.

The GMC has also produced the following documents:

Please note that this guidance does not apply to interventions that result in female genital mutilation (FGM) as the practice is illegal in the UK.

Information for members

The legal definition of FGM in the UK follows the WHO classification system. RCOG members should be aware of the four types of FGM and that FGM procedures performed on girls under 18 years is child abuse.

Members should refer to the documents below:

Contact us

If you would like to comment on this briefing, or would like more information about the RCOG’s policy and public affairs activities, please contact