The clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches is investigating a claim against the Nu Cosmetic Clinic, based in Liverpool city centre, which has just been stripped of its right to carry out medical procedures after a health watchdog took legal action following inspectors’ “serious concerns” about patient safety.
The clinic offered services including facelifts and liposuction but came under fire after concerns around patient consent and safety following an unannounced inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in November 2015. The CQC became aware of the clinic’s procedures after a number of patients’ treatments caused serious concern about the practices within the clinic. Following the inspection, the CQC ruled that there was “inadequate patient assessment” at the clinic, and it was taken to magistrates’ court last week, where it lost the right to carry out regulated medical activities.
During the case, the court heard about three patients whose care and treatment had caused concern. This included a woman who had buttock implants nine months before. The buttock ruptured along the suture line and, rather than having the implant removed in hospital, it was removed in the clinic. It was feared that this was not safe and the patient should have been referred to hospital. There was also reference to a woman who was known to suffer from anxiety and depression but there was no record to show whether she had been independently assessed for her suitability for cosmetic surgery.
The CQC requested that the court cancel the registration of the clinic to protect the safety and welfare of patients.
Having listened to the evidence presented to him by the CQC, District Judge Andrew Shaw said: “My conclusion, therefore, is that unless the registration of the registered provider…is cancelled, there will be a serious risk to a person’s life, health or well-being”.
Following the court case, the CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of general practice, Sue McMillan, said: “A number of very serious concerns were identified in relation to inadequate patient assessment, poor infection control practices, concerns around patient consent and a failure to learn from errors meaning patient wellbeing was placed at risk.”
Amy Milner, a member of the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches comments: “A case that we are investigating against the clinic involves similar issues to those raised as concerns by the CQC. It is extremely concerning to hear of other stories and we welcome the CQC’s action in this case. Unfortunately, in our experience, we see a number of patients who have undergone cosmetic surgery/ treatment and suffered complications following treatment at what they assume is a reputable clinic. More often than not, patients are seduced by cut prices and this sometimes detracts from the seriousness of their procedure/ treatment.
“Patients can often underestimate the risks associated with cosmetic surgery. They must research their plastic surgeons and make sure they are on a specialist register for plastic surgery like BAAPS and BAPRAS. It is also important for patients to understand that cosmetic surgery is a medical procedure and they should always meet with their surgeon before surgery - not least to discuss what the surgery entails and to have an opportunity to talk about any risks associated with the procedure and the recovery time.”