• ACPB


Last week a report on the ITV News website highlighted that “botched fillers” cost the NHS £29 million.

Pete Richardson asked the question at the time – can we believe this number? It now appears not.

A claim in the national media last week that “botched fillers” cost the NHS £29 million is wrong – according to the alleged source of the number.

The figure was quoted in an ITV story under the headline: “Surge in cheap injectable beauty treatments said to cost the NHS £29 million.”

The amount was attributed to Save Face, an organisation of medics campaigning for medics to be the only people allowed to administer Botox and fillers.

But Save Face has confirmed to me that these numbers are nothing to do with them.

They said: “Apologies for the delay in responding to you, I can confirm that this was a figure that was wrongly attributed to Save Face.”

Not much detail there but we now know it’s not them – despite ITV claiming very specifically: “Save Face, a national register of accredited practitioners who provide non-surgical cosmetic treatments, estimate that correction procedures following "botched work" have cost the NHS £29 million.”

In light of the news that Save Face claim the figure is not theirs I have asked ITV why they would be so very specific?

Surely someone has given ITV the figure. We await a response.

So, it seems we can completely disregard this story as false and based on zero facts.

But isn’t the damage already done with people having read and believed it?

We know the NHS doesn’t calculate the cost of its staff dealing with alleged “botched” fillers because I have asked them.

Late last year I sent the following request to the NHS Central Collection, Insight and Analysis team:

“I wonder if you could point me to any statistics for the following please:

  1. Incidents of reported adverse effects from dermal fillers treated in hospital

  2. Incidents of reported adverse effects from anti-wrinkle facial treatments

  3. Incidents of deaths or serious injury reported for both the above in the last 10 years.”

Their response was very clear:

A senior analytical manager confirmed: “I’m afraid that we don’t hold any information on this. You could try NHS Digital via but I suspect it’s a little bit too specific for them too”.

He was right….it is.

It seems we need to keep asking questions and continually test the detail when stories like this are shared.

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