The MYA Service
We want our patients to feel safe, well treated and comfortable that they are in the best possible hands.
Anne Harrison, MYA's Director of Patient Services
Five years ago there was a real opportunity in the cosmetic surgery sector for someone to offer a better service. MYA was established in 2007 with the aim to provide an Aesthetic/Cosmetic Surgery Consultation and treatment service to those patients who have been assessed as appropriate. Our objective was, and remains, to provide all patients with an outcome consistent with current best practice guidelines and individual expectations. We aim to undertake consultations, treatments and pre and post-operative care in a manner which is individual to the service users' needs. Patient involvement, confidentiality, respect and dignity are key elements in the delivery of MYA's care and services. Regular and rigorous audits of clinical and non-clinical practice/services and review/revision of policies and procedures are undertaken to ensure the quality of service delivered is in accordance with best practice and appropriate for our service user profile.
Patients receive a high level of care when they come to MYA, from their initial conversations with our clinical team, to pre-operative assessments and in-depth consultations with their surgeon. A designated Patient Co-ordinator guides each individual patient through each step of their MYA journey, personally managing their consultations, medical appointments and aftercare, as well as offering ongoing support and advice. MYA embrace transparency and a fully informed consent process. Patients also receive detailed written information outlining the benefits, risks and limitations of our procedures.
All medical checks are carried out by our network of qualified nurses, complemented by a medical helpline which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year giving patients expert nursing support and guidance at no extra cost. We carry out on-going development and training of our nurses, including regular updates of protocols.
MYA operate a comprehensive aftercare service in accordance with best medical and nursing practice, inclusive of our 24-hour emergency call service and post-operative visits to clinics. The extent of this care is outlined in the Patient Information Guide supplied at the first free consultation.
Some cosmetic surgery patients liaise directly with a surgeon. Others can find this intimidating and may want advice from another source. At MYA, you will meet a Patient Co-ordinator. This person is the vital link between you and your surgeon, and can help you with initial fact-finding and more practical, non-clinical matters.
At MYA, our Patient Co-ordinators navigate you through the process and bring together all the practical aspects of surgery. Once a clinical assessment has been made, the Patient Co-Ordinator will discuss with you issues such as finance and also arrange dates for surgical consultations, your procedure itself and follow-up appointments. They can give you key materials to look at, such as 'before and after' imagery.
Your Patient Co-ordinator will also track the clinical aspects of your case and ensure the relevant checks are in place and up-to-date with your surgeon and hospital. They usually stay in contact with you throughout the process, answering any lingering questions before and after your operation and liaising with your surgeon should any issues arise.
Our surgeons have each carried out hundreds, if not thousands, of procedures and are among the best in the world. When you visit one of MYA's nationwide clinics, you will be met by a team with decades of experience in cosmetic surgery. We recruit from both the private and public sectors with incredibly high recruitment standards, including a very strict surgeon approval scheme. Our Medical Director is an NHS Consultant who monitors all aspects of their performance. Every MYA surgeon must be able to evidence and demonstrate:
Our Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) outlined below must approve a surgeon but also have access to their clinical performance data and regularly review returns to theatre and complications. The MAC also benchmarks against industry standards and expects our surgeons to significantly out-perform them.
It is not just surgeons' surgical skills that are assessed, but also their bedside manner. We collect feedback from our patients as part of our extensive aftercare regime and one key area that we assess is how the surgeon has communicated to the patient.
MYA hold bi-weekly clinical governance meetings where there is a set agenda to discuss complaints, adverse incidents, revision rates, surgeon validation and performance, clinical issues, policy changes, infection control and any other relative business. The clinical and infection control annual work programme and progress is also tracked within this meeting. This group has set standards to ensure MYA are holding clinical care and patient safety as paramount. Prominent issues raised from these meetings are put forward to the Medical Advisory Committee (MAC).
MAC - Our Medical Advisory Committee consists of select board directors, chaired by the Medical Director and any other key staff members upon invite. The MAC is responsible for approving policies, business changes, managing clinical governance and approving the appointment of new Surgeons into MYA's team. The key aim of this group is to ensure patient safety is paramount and to ensure MYA always embrace research, evidence-based practice and clinical efficient care for patients.
MYA are already members of, or compliant with, all relevant existing regulatory and professional bodies in the sector:
All of our surgeons and clinicians are expected to adhere to the following documents:
As part of our duty to the CQC, MYA have a comprehensive comments and complaints policy in place, clear details of which are available to all patients. Patients may make complaints verbally and in writing. Our complaints process is within each clinic's Statement of Purpose, which is regulated by the Care Quality Commission. There is also a policy which encourages patients to be made aware of complaints procedure; verbal and written, clinical and non-clinical. The data collected can be filtered to show complaints per surgeon, clinic, hospital, reason for complaint, date, procedure type etc. All complaints will be treated seriously and confidentially except to facilitate an investigation.
Verbal complaints are investigated immediately and the patient notified of the outcome within one working day. If we are not able to resolve the issue within one working day, they will be notified of the outcome in writing within 20 working days of the complaint being made.
Written Complaints: Upon receipt of the patient's correspondence, we will acknowledge the letter in writing within two working days. We will immediately undertake an investigation into the comments and will provide a written response within 20 working days of receiving the letter. If we are unable to provide a written outcome within 20 working days, we will inform the patient in writing of the status of the complaint.
Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service - IHAS.Following the exhaustion of MYA's internal complaints resolution process, if the patient remains dissatisfied with MYA's response, they have the right to use the Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service. MYA is a member of the Independent Healthcare Advisory Service (IHAS), who will act as our external adjudicator when required.
MYA only ever used PIP implants between 2007 and 2009, on patients who in the main requested them or required an oversized implant. In total, there were less than 40 pairs. We contacted all our PIP patients and offered free removal and replacement in line with NHS guidance. We also carried out a manual inspection of every patient file to ensure that our electronic records matched the implant sticker on the hospital records. MYA was one of the organisations listed in the Department of Health press release promoting those companies who were complying with the NHS and the Government's request.
Our online forum is currently the only one of its kind in the sector where patients communicate freely before, during and after their procedure. Open and democratic, it allows patients and those simply considering MYA to share their thoughts and experiences. On www.mya.co.uk/mya-space you'll find patients comparing surgeons, clinics, reassuring each other, offering advice and voicing concerns. Often patients have been unable to talk to their friends or family, and the forum can be a vital tool to gather honest opinion and feedback from others going through a similar procedure.
Many of our patients have an average period of 3 to 6 months between their first consultation and the procedure itself. Prospective patients are assigned a Patient Co-ordinator, who remains their personal contact throughout their entire time with MYA, someone they can talk to day or night with queries and concerns.
Our surgeons recommend that patients have a 'reflection period' of 14 days between their surgeon consultation and the date of the procedure. Surgeons do not normally admit any patient for a procedure sooner than 14 days after the initial consultation. However, a patient may choose to elect to sign a relevant disclaimer (with the surgeon or nurse at the pre-operative assessment) and undergo the procedure sooner after careful consideration of all the benefits and risks of the intended procedure. We also allow for operation cancellations during a cooling-off period (7 days after the surgeon consultation) and any fees paid prior to this are fully refundable during this period.
MYA do not believe in cut-price procedures to secure bookings before adding hidden extras. Each of our procedures is tailored to the individual patient with all their needs addressed, and subsequent costs discussed during their consultation. A patient's initial consultation with a Patient Co-ordinator and their consultation with a surgeon are free of charge and not subject to the patient committing to a procedure and payment package. Free consultations also allow patients to meet and compare surgeons to ultimately ensure they choose their provider and surgeon with confidence. We believe patients need to find out all the facts and options available to them without financial pressure or inducements.
Quality, safety and transparency are priorities for MYA, and we think our patients should demand this too. Please visit CosmeticSurgerySafety.org for more information.