5 May 2022
Cosmetic Courses is one of two registered locations for the provider Cosmetic Courses Limited. This report and findings refer solely to the service provided at the Buckinghamshire location which is also the Head Office.
Cosmetic Courses opened in 2001 and provides a variety of aesthetic training courses and small range of treatments for people aged over 18 that come under scope of regulation by the Care Quality Commission. These treatments are delivered as part of teaching sessions and pre-bookable appointment basis are offered on the dates of the training courses. Patients attend for an initial consultation, where a treatment plan is discussed and agreed, and then they are booked in for treatment at a later date. Only specific treatments are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and include treatment for excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), non-surgical thread lifts (a treatment to lift and support facial skin using threads and cogs) and the surgical removal of minor skin lesions.
Cosmetic Courses is primarily a clinical training centre and provides a range of training courses and seminars for registered medical professionals looking to expand their aesthetic skills. The models for training purposes are selected by the service and training delegates are supervised throughout all training procedures.
Treatments and training are provided from:
- Cosmetic Courses, Unit E3 Regent Park, Summerleys Road, Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire HP27 9LE
The service website is: www.thecosmeticcentre.co.uk
The training website is: www.cosmeticcourses.co.uk
Cosmetic Courses is located in a purpose-built clinic which comprises of six treatment rooms, a lecture theatre and a reception area.
The service is open Monday to Friday with core opening hours of 8.30am to 5.30pm, 9am to 5pm every Saturday and dependent on course dates, the service occasionally opens in the evening and Sundays. This service is not required to offer an out of hours service. Patients who need medical assistance out of corporate operating hours can access out of hours support via the service and this is detailed in patient literature supplied by the service.
Treatments are provided by a Consultant Plastic Surgeon, a GP (who is the clinical lead) and an aesthetic nurse, all of which have extensive qualifications in aesthetic medicine. An operational manager and a team of reception, administration and coordinator staff undertake the day-to-day management and running of the service.
How we inspected this service
Throughout the pandemic CQC has continued to regulate and respond to risk. However, taking into account the circumstances arising as a result of the pandemic, and in order to reduce risk, we have conducted our inspections differently. This inspection was carried out in a way which enabled us to spend a minimum amount of time on site. This was with consent from the provider and in line with all data protection and information governance requirements.
We carried out this inspection on 25 April 2022. Before visiting the location, we looked at a range of information that we hold about the service. During our visit, we interviewed staff, reviewed documents and clinical records, and made observations relating to the service and the location it was delivered from.
Due to the current pandemic, we were unable to obtain comments from patients via our normal process where we ask the provider to place comment cards in the service location. However, we were shown examples of patient feedback which the provider monitored on an ongoing basis. We did not speak to patients on the day of the site visit.
To get to the heart of patients’ experiences of care and treatment, we always ask the following five questions:
- Is it safe?
- Is it effective?
- Is it caring?
- Is it responsive to people’s needs?
- Is it well-led?
These questions therefore formed the framework for the areas we looked at during the inspection.
5 May 2022
This service is rated as
The key questions are rated as:
- Are services safe? – Good
- Are services effective? – Good
- Are services caring? – Good
- Are services responsive? – Good
- Are services well-led? – Good
We carried out an announced comprehensive inspection at Cosmetic Courses on 25 April 2022. The service was registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in November 2019. We carried out this first rated inspection as part of our regulatory functions. The inspection was undertaken to check whether the service was meeting the legal requirements and regulations associated with the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.
This service is registered with CQC under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 in respect of some, but not all, of the services it provides. There are some exemptions from regulation by CQC which relate to particular types of regulated activities and services and these are set out in Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 of The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.
Cosmetic Courses provides a range of independent dermatology services, including non-surgical cosmetic interventions, which are not within CQC scope of registration. We did not inspect, or report on, those services that are outside the scope of registration.
Cosmetic Courses is registered with the CQC to provide the following regulated activities:
- Surgical procedures
- Treatment of disease, disorder or injury
Therefore, we only inspected treatments relating to medical conditions which include treatment for excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), non-surgical thread lifts and surgical removal of minor skin lesions.
Cosmetic Courses is primarily a clinical training centre for a range of treatments. The delivery of services that fall under regulation form a small percentage of the services provided by this clinic.
The service was founded by a consultant plastic surgeon in 2001. An operational manager is the CQC registered manager. A registered manager is a person who is registered with the CQC to manage the service. Like registered providers, they are ‘registered persons’. Registered persons have legal responsibility for meeting the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated Regulations about how the service is run.
Our key findings were:
- The service had clear systems to keep people safe and safeguarded from abuse whilst using the service. The service used recognised screening processes to identify patients who could be at risk of body dysmorphic disorders.
- Patients received effective care and treatment that met their needs. The way in which care was delivered was reviewed to ensure it was according to best practice aesthetic medicine guidance. Staff were well supported to update their knowledge through training.
- Patients were provided with information about their treatment and with advice and guidance to support them to live healthier lives. This included comprehensive after-care advice post-treatment.
- Feedback from patients was consistently positive and highlighted a strong person-centred culture.
- The service did not provide treatment where they felt it was not in the patient’s best interest. Staff were motivated to prioritise the needs of their patients.
- Services were tailored to meet the needs of individual patients and those attending training courses. They were delivered in a flexible way that ensured choice and continuity of care.
- There was an overarching provider vision and strategy with evidence of good local leadership within the service. There were clear responsibilities, roles and systems to support good governance and management.
We saw an area of outstanding practice:
- There was a fully embedded focus on continuous learning and improvement which included training registered medical professionals (such as surgeons, doctors and nurses) looking to expand their aesthetic skills. At the time of the April 2022 inspection, the service offered over 27 continuing professional development certified aesthetic courses which included free ongoing support following completion of the chosen training courses. The service had been recognised and presented with various aesthetic sector awards. The most recent award was in March 2022, when the service was “commended” at the Aesthetic Awards 2022. This category looked at the independent training provider whose training programme was considered to have advanced the education of medical aesthetic professionals most effectively during the last 12 months. Judges looked for engaging methods of delivery, a high-quality, generic programme, a continuous development strategy and achievement of measurable outcomes.
Dr Rosie Benneyworth BM BS BMedSci MRCGP
Chief Inspector of Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care