Psychological assessments as standard for cosmetic procedures

Safety and wellbeing is a priority when you visit St Hugh’s as a patient, and that’s why a psychological assessment is necessary if you’re looking at cosmetic surgery.

Cosmetic Assessment

According to national statistics, the number of people undergoing cosmetic surgery in the UK is rising yearly (more than 28,000 in 2019), and some of those people don’t get any benefit from it, for a variety of reasons.

One of the methods used to help determine if a patient might be at risk of a poor post-operative outcome is a psychological assessment. In line with the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) framework, St Hugh’s has implemented a standard policy for psychological assessment of cosmetics patients – and we want to let you know about it.

Our Cosmetics Sister, Sarah Grantham, explained:

“It’s all about ensuring patients receive the finest bespoke care before, during and after their stay with us.

“It is vital that we identify and respond to the changing needs of and risks to people who use our services, that the procedure is suitable, and voluntary… basically, these kind of assessments protect the patient, and the patient is at the heart of every single thing we do here at St Hugh’s.

“It’s not a case of questioning the patient but making sure the reasons why are sound – for the patient, and for us, too.”

A new framework has recently been implemented at St Hugh’s, in collaboration with the Hull Plastic Surgeons Group and two clinical psychologists at Hull University Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, and Sarah is speaking here about it, so people are not surprised, or taken aback.

The assessment, a mix of questionnaires and in-person appointments, includes topics like the patient’s area or areas of concern, discussing their decision to consider surgery, and their overall wellbeing. Essentially, it’s a routine part of having a procedure.

Sarah said:
“An essential part of what we do is making the entire patient journey clear, from the moment a person picks up the phone and calls us, or makes an enquiry, to when they’re recovering at home and beyond.

“Advances in plastic surgery, coupled with the vast range of treatments on offer, means there is now a bewildering array of cosmetic procedures available.

“The vast majority of procedures end with satisfied patients, but it is vitally important that people have a procedure for the right reasons, at the right time, in the right place and with an appropriately qualified plastic surgeon who understands their needs.

“It’s important to highlight what you can expect on your journey with St Hugh’s, so I wanted to let people know that this assessment takes place.”

Sarah has been with St Hugh’s since 2017, first as a staff nurse, then clinical team leader, before moving to her current role in 2019.

“Every patient is different, and we tailor our approach to each person’s unique needs. It’s so rewarding,” she added.

“This is not part of a ‘test’ and does not act as a way of ‘screening out’ people from having the procedure they want. This enables your surgical team to know enough information about you to support you in getting the best outcomes from surgery, both physically and psychologically. This is our Gold Standard of Care.

“To help patients improve their quality of life and feel confident and happy is always the goal here at St Hugh’s.”

Find out more about the range of cosmetics procedures on offer by clicking this link.