Clinical Negligence & Catastrophic Injury Solicitors
12 month suspension for Harley Street Doctor.
A Harley Street cosmetic doctor has been suspended for 12 months after acting "dishonestly" and encouraging nurses to obtain Botox illegally.
Dr Mark Harrison was exposed by an undercover BBC London investigation. A nurse went undercover posing as a trainee to covertly film the doctor during an introduction to Botox course and his practices were later recorded on the phone by BBC undercover researchers.
General Medical Council (GMC) Medical Practitioners' Panel Chair, Dr Janet Nicholls, who suspended Harrison for 12 months, said: "The panel has determined that his conduct is serious, wide ranging and included dishonesty as well as involving serious breaches of good medical practice."
Botox can only legally be administered by a doctor to a patient with a valid prescription.
Before the laws were tightened, Dr Harrison authorised nurses to perform the procedure by speaking to them on his mobile, despite the fact this was supposed to happen only in exceptional circumstances.
Dr Harrison charged £30 for each consultation and offered a day-long training course at his practice, Harley Aesthetics, to prepare nurses who wanted to administer Botox, which is commonly used as an anti-wrinkle treatment.
Hundreds of nurses worked for him from his Harley street headquarters, earning his business millions of pounds from remote consultation fees and by supply them with anti-wrinkle drugs.
At his training courses, Harrison told nurses to use Botox on one patient even though it was prescribed for someone else. He was secretly filmed telling the nurses: "Well, you know in reality, we don't use one vial for one person."
When asked by an attendee about ordering Botox for a client later that week, Dr Harrison stated "Just order a vial in your name. It's not policed at all."
The GMC hearing deemed that his fitness to practise medicine was "impaired" and rejected claims that Dr Harrison had been a victim of entrapment by the BBC.
Immediately following the BBC's investigation, the GMC tightened the laws banning medicines such as Botox from being prescribed remotely, meaning medical professionals must now always hold a face- to-face consultations with patients for these types of cosmetic drugs.
"He was running his practice as a business not as a doctor, he was betraying the trust of his patients," said Rajiv Grover, of the British Association of Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS).
Dr Janet Nicholls said: "Suspension is a serious sanction which sends out a signal to Dr Harrison, the profession and the public about how seriously the panel views this misconduct."