Royal Docks: How Royal Wharf Clinic offers a medical approach to aesthetic procedures

Founder Dr Shaan Mahmood on how a holistic approach to clients can yield desired results

Royal Wharf Clinic founder Dr Shaan Mahmood

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“I‘m aware that there aesthetic clinics where people are in it to make money, but I’m involved in this field because I want to improve people’s mental and medical health,” said Dr Shaan Mahmood.

The founder of Royal Wharf Clinic created the business  – based in Cunningham Avenue near Pontoon Dock DLR station – with two clear aims in mind.

“I’d noticed that, because of things like social media, people are much more concerned about their image than they used to be,” he said.

“I wanted to offer individuals a holistic approach to aesthetic issues but also with their wider health.

“The idea was born out of frustration at not being able to provide the care for people that I wanted through my role as an NHS doctor working in a hospital.”

Initially Dr Shaan spent time pursuing medical research, gaining a masters from the University Of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School before realising he preferred interacting with patients on a more personal level.

“I remain very interested in the science of medicine, but I like to have human contact as well,” he said.

“I prefer speaking to people to get information from them.

“There’s a lot of data inside our heads that can’t be measured, so you have to talk to people to access it. 

“That’s why I moved on to doing hospital work, graduated and then, eight months later, the Covid pandemic arrived which was very tough to start with.

“Normally, as a junior doctor, you are assured that your senior colleagues are there for you and that your job is to absorb the experience and the protocols rather than to make serious decisions.

“In the pandemic, many of the older doctors were shielding and so the juniors had to step up.

“That experience accelerated my development as a doctor because it taught me to quickly clarify my thought processes, made me better as a worker and a member of a team and showed me that regardless of how you feel, the work needs to be done – so you crack on and do it.

“It was a really tough period and the burn-out rate among colleagues was high – but it resulted in me becoming a far better doctor than I might otherwise have become in that time.

“However, it also highlighted a lot of problems in the system. I love the NHS – having healthcare that is free at the point of delivery is very important and that’s why I continue to work for it.

“But what I didn’t enjoy was saying to patients that they would get an outpatients’ appointment in two weeks and then getting a call from them two months later when that hadn’t even been scheduled.

“I found I couldn’t guarantee what I was saying to people.

“That’s what Royal Wharf Clinic is about. When I say to people who come here that we can do something, then we can.

“If someone has an issue that we can’t address ourselves, then we will know someone who can help.”

Royal Wharf Clinic is located on Cunningham Avenue

On the face of it, Royal Wharf Clinic is divided into two areas of service – medical and aesthetic.

But as we talk, it becomes obvious Dr Shaan sees them as feeding into a single mission – how to help someone feel better, both physically and mentally. 

To that end the clinic is fully equipped with a variety of consultation and treatment rooms and is currently constructing an on-site lab to bring wait times for test results down to a minimum. 

“On the medical side, we do a lot of investigations that are primarily preventative,” said Dr Shaan.

“We offer blood tests, scans and consultations about nutrition and lifestyle – such as sleep, work and stress levels – and we try to pinpoint what a person’s goals are in life for their health and wellbeing.

“It’s not up to me to decide what will make someone better. It’s for me to ask what that is and then create a strategy to help people get there.

“A client might want to feel more energetic, for example, to reduce their stress levels, lose weight or gain some muscle. 

“Of course, we can treat people if there is a medical problem or refer them to a specialist if necessary, but I’m a big proponent of preventative blood work to identify any deficiencies in the body.

“We have created a number of bespoke tests to address common complaints – tiredness for example.

“Our test will screen for certain conditions and 95% of time it’s likely to be one of those that is responsible. 

“Another is iron deficiency – a person’s levels will be low three or four months before they develop anaemia but they may feel fine.

“If we identify that early then we can improve a person’s levels to head off any problems.

“My job is really to keep people out of hospital – to be their guardian angel. People can tell me what they want and we’ll give them advice on how to get there.”

Dr Shaan’s approach when it comes to aesthetic treatments is similar, following Royal Wharf Clinic’s tagline of “beauty carefully considered”.

The clinic’s Styku scanning room plus Emsculpt Neo

“The background knowledge I have from doing complex surgery contributes to the level of service we are able to offer clients,” he said.

“Overall there’s an emphasis on a more natural look in the field of aesthetics now.

“For example, many people prefer skin boosters rather than changing the shape of the body.

“People’s reasons for seeking aesthetic treatments are deeply personal but they always stem from a perception that there’s a problem to be fixed.

“There are two types of aesthetic treatment – preventative, such as washing and moisturising, and reactive where we’re trying to correct something.

“We will never look at a client and tell them what we think they should have done. It’s always up to the client to tell us what they think the problem is.

“For example, they might think they dislike the size of their nose or certain skin blemishes.

“Then I will make an assessment because some people suffer from dysmorphia and see a completely different person when they look in the mirror.

“As a doctor, it is my responsibility to look after their health so I’m not obliged to agree with a client’s assessment if treatment is unnecessary or might be detrimental to their health. 

“This is something we take very seriously – because of social media we’re constantly exposed to images of others and can easily make unfavourable comparisons, which is more to do with a person’s mental health than their physical appearance.

“However, there are, of course, genuine deficiencies such as scarring, dry skin or areas damaged by acne that are causing misery and that we can get sorted.

“Then there are anti-ageing treatments. You can’t stop Father Time, but you can definitely slow him down.”

In addition to the medical services it offers, Royal Wharf Clinic boasts an extensive range of options to improve the appearance of or remove the likes of warts and verrucas, body hair, visible blood vessels and scars.

It also offers Emsculpt Neo treatments to help eliminate stubborn fat deposits.

You can find out more about Royal Wharf Clinic via this link

A treatment room at the clinic complete with 3Juve Laser

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via jon.massey@wharf-life.com
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