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Yesterday I was pleased to attend a launch event for Londonderry native and BBC Apprentice 2013 winner Dr Leah Totton as she officially cut the ribbon on the opening of her first venture into the UK aesthetic marketplace, with a new cosmetic skin clinic in Moorgate, London. This marks the start of her Dr Leah brand of clinics and skincare within the industry.
The opening date for the clinic also coincided with Leah's 26th birthday, the arrival of which she noted was indeed the best birthday present she's ever had.
Since her win on the BBC show last summer, Leah has been on the go non-stop setting up the business which she shares in a 50-50 venture with Lord Alan Sugar, who awarded the young doctor the £250,000 investment in her business idea in the show's final episode. Sadly, Lord Sugar was in America on other business so was unable to attend yesterday's event, but fellow Apprentice mentor Karren Brady CBE was in attendance to support Dr Totton.
As part of the set-up of her clinic, Leah has spent the last 6 months consulting with various key industry figures in order to gain insight and learn more about the nuances of running a business in the aesthetic industry. This has also helped her to hand-pick a very qualified team of seasoned professionals to work alongside her in the daily management and future growth of the clinic business; along with achieving best practices and maintaining patient safety. To that end, the Dr Leah team includes Dr Martyn King, owner of the Cosmedic Skin Clinic in the Midlands, as Medical Director, Lorna Bowes RGN, NIP as the Chair of the Dr Leah Clinical Standards Board and BAAPS Consultant Plastic Surgeon Mr Taimur Shoaib as head of training. Additionally, Leah has employed a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurse prescribers and aestheticians (beauty therapists) to work in the clinic delivering treatments, as well as her own sister to head up reception. Dr Leah herself will be performing treatments, but will also continue to maintain a one-day-a-week locum job in an NHS Accident & Emergency department, as well as managing the day-to-day running of her clinic.
The clinic will offer a range of treatments for the face and body (for both men and women), from facials combining electrical stimulation technologies, microdermabrasion and skin care products to medical skin needling (dermarollers) and cosmetic injectables with botulinum toxin and dermal fillers. The clinic is also one of the first UK-based clinics to offer the 3D Lipomed treatment for non-surgical fat reduction.
Although plans for the 'chain' of Dr Leah clinics, as banded about in the final shows of The Apprentice, have been sensibly put on hold until the initial venture proves to be an ongoing success, Dr Leah has forged forward with her plans for a skincare range, which is still in development but is expected to launch this summer.
The 'Generation Y' doctor is also keen to work alongside industry leaders to help improve regulation within the industry, something which is hotly debated and somewhat underacted on currently. She also plans to campaign for better patient safety and for high standards to be met by professionals operating in the marketplace.
In line with this, Dr Leah was keen to make a stance at the launch event and announce that she would not be administering preventative treatments for lines and wrinkles to teenagers and urged fellow industry participants to support this stance after recent tabloid investigations exposed the practice by some UK practitioners. "Whilst we acknowledge that botulinum toxin is used to treat medical conditions in all age groups, we cannot accept that its use as an anti-ageing treatment in teenagers is in any way justifiable"; said the entrepreneurial doctor. "It is our position that this is extremely poor practice and raises important ethical concerns. Dr Leah's clinics will not be treating teenagers with botulinum toxins for the prevention of lines and wrinkles."
"Myself and my expert team hope that our passion for this industry, care for our patients and dedication to excellence will come across to all patients treated in our clinic."
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