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GPs plan move into cosmetic surgery

The NHS GP surgery is planning to expand into the area of cosmetic procedures by taking over the site of the former Jobcentre on Station Road.

Doctors at the surgery want to convert the first floor of the building into admin offices to free up space in their current practice opposite the car park in The Avenue.

They also want to convert the ground floor of the old Jobcentre into six treatment rooms to be used for their new private cosmetic surgery centre. Peter Williams, business manager at The Avenue Surgery, said: "The Primary Care Trust is refusing to treat benign growths, such as moles, on the NHS now because they don't have the money.

"We have noticed an increase in the amount of patients wanting cosmetic procedures so we are planning to offer these treatments to patients privately at a reduced amount than the Royal United Hospital in Bath."

The doctors at the practice will be carrying out the procedures using radio surgery, which involves scalpels that seal the skin as they cut and leave little scarring. The surgery is planning to offer Botox injections, which fill out wrinkles, and Restylane fillers, which are injections that reduce wrinkles.

They will also be offering Intense Pulse Light Therapy (IPLT), which can permanently reduce hair growth and can regenerate skin and remove skin blemishes like freckles and liver spots.

Botox injections come at a price though, starting off at 190, and Restylane is even more expensive at 350 a go.

The IPLT prices vary as to what type of area they are treating but typically the upper lip area would cost around 75.

The surgery has been offering some complementary procedures for a while, as Dr Vivian Stevens is a qualified medical acupuncture therapist and treats chronic pain such as whiplash and some back conditions.

But people need to be wary of who they approach for their cosmetic procedures.

Mr Williams said: "Lots of health spas are offering these services. There are even people who ride around on motorbikes offering Botox injections, although I think that's only in London."

The government is soon to change the rules so that people offering these procedures need to be registered by the Healthcare Commission.