Royal College of Ophthalmologists | RCOphth

Replied by admin on topic Optical Confederation v RCOphth

Posted 22 Aug 2017 20:17 #11

When I was discussing his name being associated with the Optical Confederation, Dr CT Pillai surprisingly told me that it was in fact my long time sparring partner Russell Ambrose (Optimax/Ultralase owner) who introduced him to FODO's Chief Executive David Hewlett, asking him to look at the Royal College standards.

In bed with Humpty on this, eh Russell :kiss:

And, as well as the Optical Confederation, on 15 August I wrote to David Teenan as follows, but he hasn’t replied - can't imagine why not...

'Hi David

I am writing with regard to your position on the expert panel responsible for FODO's recently published refractive surgery standards.

As a core member of the RCOphth Refractive Surgery Standards Working Group (RSSWG), this is without doubt a blatant conflict of interests.

I am therefore surprised that, although the RCOphth did not accept the high number of legal claims you have from damaged px as sufficient reason to remove you from the RSSWG in 2015, they do not now consider your collaboration with the OC/FODO just cause to do so.

As their Medical Director, and given that Optical Express are refusing to follow the RCOphth standards, please advise whose standards you intend to follow?

I look forward to your earliest response.

Sasha Rodoy|My Beautiful Eyes Foundation
Patient Advocate & Campaign Manager

CT Pillai also told me that after publication of the FODO/OC standards they sent him this,
'It is possible that you may be contacted about your involvement with the standards by third parties. If you are contacted by anyone who has questions about the standards, whether campaigners, journalists or members of the public, please put them in touch with us and don’t feel you need to respond directly to them. If you do receive questions and would like to reply yourself but need info from us, don't hesitate to let us know. The best contact details for us are 0207 618 9198 or opticalconfederation@luther.co.uk'

The games continue, while more eyes and lives are ruined by the main players...
Last Edit:23 Aug 2017 10:10 by admin

Replied by admin on topic Optical Confederation v RCOphth

Posted 19 Aug 2017 21:10 #12
I’ve been waiting a while to tell you about the Optical Confederation because I needed to do some fact finding first!

It’s a lengthy topic, and for the moment I’ll keep it as brief as I can, with more to come at a later date.

As most of you know, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists recently published their new Refractive Surgery Standards, and I have expressed my views on these in previous posts.

To remind you... :kiss:

OE’s Medical Director David Teenan is a core member of the RSSWG responsible for writing the standards, and in June 2015, following spurious complaints from David Moulsdale to the RCO, I was removed from my College nominated position as lay adviser.

At a meeting with RCO trustees on 4 December 2015 (to argue for my reinstatement), Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell was told, ‘we [RCO] have to keep OE onboard else they won’t agree to the standards’.

As I predicted, OE are not agreeing to the standards - and have instead collaborated with the Optical Confederation to publish standards to suit OE's modus operandi!

My Beautiful Eyes Foundation responded to the OC consultation document in April, 'MBE does not recognise the OC as an organisation who should be providing standards for the industry’.


Look who's on their Expert Panel!


NB: Optom Amy Richardson works at Moorfields Eye Hospital and ought to know better than to align herself with Optical Express!

After I discussed his apparent affiliation with the OC, Dr CT Pillai prudently instructed them to remove his name from the FODO documents.

However, Dr Dan Reinstein is happy to have his name associated with Optical Express - albeit possibly confused, because he told me that the Optical Council (GOC) consulted with him. I replied that perhaps he'd written this in error, as I understand that the GOC did no such thing, but the Professor (as he calls himself for marketing purposes) is on his hols, and as yet I've had no response.

I wrote to Kathy Evans on 11 July, 'Can you please advise whether or not the RCOphth intend to remove David Teenan from his position on the RSSWG, given that his collaboration with the Optical Confederation is a blatant conflict of interests.'

I had to send the same email three times before Kathy finally responded on 21 July, 'We have no plans to remove Mr Teenan from the RSSWG. We have alerted the regulatory bodies, the General Medical Council and the General Optical Council, that there are differences between the RCOphth and the FODO/ABDO/ACL/FMO standards.'

I have asked FODO for more details concerning their claim of interviews with refractive surgery patients from across the UK (see link), but it looks like only four patients (in Glasgow) were included, and I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry at their comments!

And Stephen Hannan is a FODO board member!


Tweedles said, 'There is a lot of pressure in eye hospitals currently…'

No sh*t Sherlock - much of it due to the NHS caring for Optical Express damaged patients!

And while the RCO have made it abundantly clear that they do not welcome my input (they don’t want to upset their refractive surgeon members), happily the General Optical Council do!

On 25 Jul 2017 I received this invitation:

'Dear Sasha,

Further to our brief telephone conversation about recently published standards for refractive surgery, I would like to invite you to the GOC for a discussion with myself and David Rowland (GOC Head of Policy).

The purpose of the meeting will be for us to hear the patient perspective on the published refractive surgery standards (both RCOPTH and FODO) and for us to explain how standards produced by other organisations fit with the GOC’s overall standards framework...

Keith Watts
Head of Case Progression
Fitness to Practise
General Optical Council | 10 Old Bailey | London | EC4M 7NG

I am meeting with them next week.
Last Edit:23 Nov 2017 19:18 by admin

Replied by admin on topic RCOphth Annual Congress 2017

Posted 25 May 2017 18:28 #13
Today was the final day of the 2017 RCOphth Annual Congress in Liverpool, where ophthalmologists got together for four days to discuss various aspects of eye surgery, and of course an excuse to have a jolly good time!

Today was Cataract and Refractive Surgery Sub Specialty Day, and if you look at the programme you’ll appreciate how much I would like to have attended!

Especially for this morning’s session when David Teenan spent half an hour talking about complications following surgery, a subject he is of course well versed in!

Professor Carrie MacEwen has now handed over the presidency reins to her successor Michael Burdon, but don’t expect anything to change. College presidents are chosen from a tight knit group of contenders who have proven they won’t challenge or upset the College apple cart in any way - as I did during my short residency with the Lay Advisory Group.

It should be mentioned that Mike Burdon was also involved in writing the new refractive surgery standards, so no need to say more!

In February 2015 the Irish College of Ophthalmologists (ICO) published their new guidelines

Considerably shorter than the lengthy document produced by the RCOphth, and while some might criticise this fact, importantly it was not written by a panel of refractive ophthalmologists but by the ICO’s training body as a whole.

It is therefore not weighted in favour of refractive surgery and there are no misleading and unsubstantiated claims of ’95% satisfaction' or similar pro-surgery content, unlike the RCOphth standards that read more like an advertorial for laser eye surgery!

Prior to publishing their new guidelines in 2015 an ICO representative contacted me in August 2014, asking for my input concerning the refractive surgery industry. They also spoke with damaged patients in Ireland, unlike the RCOphth who successfully did their utmost to exclude any of us from participating.

On 18 February 2015 I wrote to Ciara Keenan, ICO Communications Manager, and copied in Kathy Evans,

'Re "The guidelines from the Irish College of Ophthalmologists are voluntary, but the college says members who do not adhere to them will be refused membership.”

Can I quote this as fact?

Also, how do the new guidelines help when Optical Express surgeons like Jan Venter and Dimitri Kazakos, not members of ICO, are regularly operating in Ireland?

Ciara replied the next day,
'The ICO formulated the guidelines to help assist people in making an informed decision and to promote awareness and education around the appropriate standards as set by the College. The guidelines promote greater transparency and provide the public access to information on what to expect during the process, from decision making to the post-operative care standard recommended by the ICO for patients undergoing refractive surgery. It will also inform practices for clinic managers and owners.

While the ICO is not the regulator, this is the role of the Medical Council in Ireland and any patient who has a complaint should go to the IMC, we do have a responsibility to patients and the specialty to promote high standards. After an appropriate bedding down phase, we do envisage making endorsement of the guidelines a requirement of on-going membership for existing members and endorsement of the guidelines and code of conduct are a requirement for all new members

I spoke with Ciara yesterday for an update on the above.

After checking with colleagues she replied,
'I can confirm that the expectation is for new members to confirm their endorsement of and adherence to the ICO Code of Conduct and our guidelines for Refractive Surgery. We are not however the regulators of medical practitioners in Ireland, that is the role of the medical council, but as the training and professional body for eye doctors in Ireland, wish to set the appropriate standard and provide leadership on ophthalmic practice standards.'

It should be noted that the RCOphth coincidentally decided to rewrite their guidelines/standards only after I had informed them that the Irish College had done so, of which they had no idea!

And when I suggested that as a requirement of on-going membership that they similarly insist surgeons must adhere to the standards, Kathy told me that as all practising surgeons are not RCOpth members there’s no point.

Now here’s the rub, David Teenan is a member of the Refractive Surgery Standards Working Group responsible for the new RCOphth standards, and he is of course a College member, but he works exclusively for OE who have made it clear that they have no intention of following the College standards.

Yet I was removed from the RSSWG essentially to keep Optical Express ‘onboard’ otherwise they would not agree to the new standards, as vice president Peter Tiffin told John McDonnell in December 2015 - although they didn’t even follow the old ones!

And in an email disclosed by the RCOphth in response to my Subject Access Request in 2015, it was said that David Teenan might find it uncomfortable sitting in the same room as me!

I leave you to think that one through :kiss:
Last Edit:25 May 2017 20:23 by admin

Replied by admin on topic Royal College of Ophthalmologists

Posted 15 May 2017 16:29 #14
If ever there was a good reason to vote Labour next month, this is it :kiss:

Other than his last paragraph, Philip Dunne's reply to Theresa Villiers is a carbon copy of letters sent by his predecessors Daniel Poulter and Ben Gummer, and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Dunne regurgitates the same bullsh*t and doesn't appear to understand that 'refractive eye surgery' does not refer to laser alone!

And the punultimate paragraph is an insult to all of us who know that the RCO are in fact an integral part of the industry, because otherwise they would have kept me on as lay adviser to the RSSWG allowing the voices of damaged patients to be heard, instead of kowtowing to a corrupt businessman and removing me at his behest!

Those of you who wrote to Kathy Evans will also have received the same reply from the College that I did in answer to my SIX questions (see previous posts).
On 12 May 2017, at 10:53, Kathy Evans wrote

Dear Ms Rodoy

Thank you for your recent emails about the Professional Standards for Refractive Surgery published on 4 April 2017. They are aimed at surgeons and other medical professionals and provide clear guidance on the level of experience and knowledge refractive surgeons should have, as well as the environment for performing surgery safely, good communication and teamwork, continuity of care, and maintaining trust.

The RCOphth ran two public consultations, advertised on the RCOphth website and through VISION 2020 UK, a registered charity which is an umbrella organisation for more than 45 organisations in the eye health, sight loss and healthcare sectors.

1. Public Consultation: 27 April 2016 to 8 June 2016

This received three responses from patients / members of the public and six responses from the RCOphth Lay Advisory Group. In addition, a small number of personal testimonials were received from patients / members of the public which did not refer to the draft standards, the subject of the consultation.

The RCOphth held a Refractive Surgery Standards Public Engagement Session on 18 May 2016. 14 members of the public registered an interest in attending the session; eight attended on the day.

2. 24 August 2016 to 5 October 2016

This received one response from patients / members of the public and one response from My Beautiful Eyes, a Refractive Surgery Patient Group.

The RCOphth held a second Refractive Surgery Standards Public Engagement Session on 19 October 2016. 18 members of the public registered an interest in attending the session; from memory, a few people attended without having registered and a few, who had registered, did not attend.

Yours sincerely

Kathy Evans | Chief Executive
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists

Re 2: The Public Engagement Session on 19 October 2016 had little (if any) relevance to the content of the new standards.

Re 1: This incontestably supports my argument that the College DID NOT consult widely with patients.

In my opinion this is misrepresentation and fraud, just like the College's unsubstantiated claim of a 95% satisfaction rate!

I therefore sought legal advice last week to see if there is a way to challenge this in the courts. And if so, then My Beautiful Eyes Foundation intend to pursue such an action.

Meanwhile, I will be writing to ask that the College reconsider their spurious claims and amend the standards.

Bernie Chang, RCO Vice President and Chair of Professional Standards, told me in May 2016 that the College's decision to exclude me might come back to bite them...

Oh Bernie how right you were - my teeth are razor sharp and I won't let this go!
Last Edit:15 May 2017 16:36 by admin

Replied by admin on topic Please email RCO!!!

Posted 06 May 2017 14:44 #15
Following the vague and brief answer to six perfectly reasonable questions (see 14/18 April), on behalf of My Beautiful Eyes campaigners, I replied to the RCOphth Chief Executive Kathy Evans explaining our concerns, asking that each of the six questions were answered directly (see 21 April).

As yet no reply, even though I've since emailed Kathy Evans twice with reminders :kiss:

Could it be that the College trustees are afraid to answer, because their claim that they 'consulted widely with patients' is patently untrue and indefensible?

And, if so, then they must publicly withdraw their claim and expunge it from all documentation, because it is fraudulent misrepresentation!

And, as a result, the College could be held responsible for many more people undergoing refractive eye surgery and suffering problems - contrary to another bogus and unsubstantiated College claim that there is a ’95% satisfaction’ rate!

Please support My Beautiful Eyes and copy/paste/email the following to kathy.evans@rcophth.ac.uk asap... (Cc: info@mybeautifuleyes.co.uk)

"Dear Kathy

Re ‘The RSSWG collaborated and consulted widely with patients…’

Please provide the following information:

1) The number of patients with whom the RSSWG consulted?
2) The number of patients who collaborated with the RSSWG?
3) What was the process followed by the RSSWG in relation to the collaboration and consultations with patients?
4) How were these patients initially identified?
5) What was the criteria for either consultation or collaboration?
6) How were these patients contacted and where can evidence/data be found to show the numbers of patients who collaborated with and were consulted by the RSSWG?

I look forward to your earliest response.

Last Edit:06 May 2017 15:13 by admin

Replied by admin on topic RCOphth Refractive Surgery Standards

Posted 25 Apr 2017 16:27 #16
As yet no answers to my six questions sent to the RCO on 18 April (see 21 April)…

But yesterday I did receive a reply to another question also sent on 18 April, 'Please advise where MBE's written consultation response, dated 4 October 2016, can be found on the RCOphth website?

Kathy sent this link: www.rcophth.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/201...es-27-March-2017.pdf

Not only are many people complaining that their responses to this and the first consultation have been omitted, but I can find nothing in this document that supports the College's claim that, 'As an independent charity, we pride ourselves on providing impartial and clinically based evidence, putting patient care and safety at the heart of everything we do.’

After removing me from my nominated position as lay adviser with the RSSWG (at the behest of corrupt businessman David Moulsdale), the reason I was given no right of reply was because the College were thrilled to have an excuse to do so. And I have reason to believe it was in fact a College trustee who suggested to David that he made the complaint.

This of course meant that zero input from patients was included in the writing of the standards, which do nothing to protect or advise people of the very real risks, and completely negate the College’s claim, "putting patient care and safety at the heart of everything we do.”

To the contrary, because in my opinion the standards appear to be little more than a PR advertising opportunity for refractive surgeons (and an attempt to try and hobble the high street providers - not that I have an issue with that of course!).

Page 21: An evasive response to MBE’s comment asking where are the statistics from patients themselves.

And while I’m in total agreement that surgeons with 'higher than expected complication rates' should be stopped from operating, of course they are simply paying lip service, because RSSWG member David Teenan is himself being sued by a significantly high number of patients left with severe complications - including blindness in one eye!

Forget remedial advice, because - just like the GMC - it does nothing to help prevent patients being damaged.

Page 22: In response to MBE’s criticism that there should be a 14 day cooling off period, the RSSWG reply, 'The one week cooling off period, derived after extensive discussion with stakeholders, is a compromise between the two week cooling off period stipulated by CSIC for cosmetic surgery and requests based on convenience and GMC point 25 for a shorter period from some refractive surgery providers.’

1. Surely patients are the main stakeholders?
2. Eye surgery is more serious than cosmetic surgery.
2. Of course the industry want a shorter time because more people will cancel when given longer time to research.

At least the RSSWG didn’t agree with OE’s demand for only two days cooling off period (page 38).

Page 35: OE are told pre op consultations MUST be with the operating surgeon IN PERSON. Again, ignored by OE who continue to offer phone consults - remember Peter Tiffin told John McDonnell the College had to keep OE on board else they wouldn't agree to the standards!

This reply from Kathy to a campaigner today, who'd asked why her contributions had not been included in the Consultation response document: "We viewed them as personal testimonies rather than a response to the consultation documents because they did not refer to the documents or make suggestions about improving them."

How convenient :kiss:

The College also ignored MBE's request for another public consultation before the standards were published, so if the College continue to claim that they consulted widely with patients, they are patently lying!

Last Edit:25 Apr 2017 17:33 by admin

Replied by admin on topic RCOphth Refractive Surgery Standards

Posted 23 Apr 2017 14:52 #17
Following in the footsteps of Optical Express, Accuvision is in blatant defiance of the RCO new standards!


Optical Express made it clear before the standards were published earlier this month that they will carry on as they choose, and, ‘continue to follow the Advertising and Marketing Guidance of the regulators in the field of Advertising and Marketing, such as the ASA.'

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists has absolutely no power to enforce standards, while the Irish College of Ophthalmologists verbally assured me that they would refuse membership renewal to any surgeon who flouted their revised refractive surgery standards (published January 2015).

Prior to the formation of the RSSWG, when I told Kathy Evans and suggested the RCO might do the same, she told me it wouldn’t help as not all practising ophthalmic surgeons are College members.

Hmmm… now there’s a conundrum, because - as I’ve previously mentioned - at our meeting with College trustees on 4 December 2016, Peter Tiffin told John McDonnell that they had to keep Optical Express on board otherwise they wouldn’t agree to the standards, yet less than 50% of OE surgeons are RCO members!

Now let’s go one step beyond… imagine that a businessman has been performing laser eye surgery on patients for nearly twenty years, and he's not a member of the GMC, let alone the RCO, in fact he’s not even a surgeon!

And then imagine that most of the refractive surgery industry - including RCO presidents - know about this and have turned a blind eye.

Then imagine I found out, and not only compiled a list of many of those in the industry who know about it, but also recorded surgeons and others telling me they've known for years - including businessmen like the one we're imagining...

Supposing all of this were true, and the massive scandal exposed, how would the Royal College of Ophthalmologists defend their silence and hang on to any credibility I wonder?

Just saying :kiss:
Last Edit:24 Apr 2017 15:53 by admin

Replied by admin on topic Qs for the RCO cont'd

Posted 21 Apr 2017 14:33 #18

My reply to Kathy (RCOphth)...
On 18 Apr 2017, at 15:33, Sasha Rodoy wrote:

Dear Kathy

In answer to your question, although I am not clear what point you are trying to make, since its launch in January 2012 MBE has both helped and represented thousands of damaged patients, and continues to do so.

Given that MBE is essentially a one-person advocacy service with this level of patient contact, it would seem reasonable to assume that an organisation of the size of the RCOphth, regardless of external funding, must surely have been in contact with thousands of patients during the same period? If not, it is of concern that the RCOphth did not leverage MBE’s contacts with respect to the consultation, or at the very least seek to raise awareness of it via the OERML website, which would appear to have considerably higher visitor traffic to that of the RCOphth.

At the Patient Engagement Session on 18 May 2016 the non College/industry attendees were present only thanks to my having been sent an anonymous email informing me of the meeting the day before registration closed.

Unfortunately it was difficult for the majority of people to attend at such short notice, and when challenged about this you admitted that more should have been done by the College to advertise the meeting.

You will presumably also recall that at the meeting on 12 October 2016 Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell advised Bruce Allan that as MBE is the only refractive surgery patient group in the UK, and myself the only patient advocate representing people damaged by this unregulated surgery, it would make sense that I should be given such information to post on my high profile social media sites.

Few (if any) patients would have reason to look at the RCO website, and even less at Vision 2020 UK, which is as you say an umbrella for over 40 ocular organisations, unfortunately none concerned with refractive eye surgery.

It should be considered also, like the LAG representative who replaced me on the RSSWG, LAG member and Vision 2020 UK operations manager Matthew Broom offered no support for my campaign, or showed any interest in refractive eye surgery whatsoever. In fact, at one LAG meeting he stage whispered to his neighbour, 'I don’t know what she [me] is even doing here’.

Like all LAG members he resented my presence because they had been warned that I challenged the College, as I later discovered from emails you disclosed in response to my SAR in 2015.

You claim that the College tried to consult with patients widely through the free channels available. Yet when I asked you on 18 May how you had consulted with those who attended the industry meeting the previous week you admitted this was via email - a free channel.

I have seen copies of many emails previously sent to the College from damaged patients and you therefore had their email addresses, and most definitely mine.

Yet there were only seven patients/public at the May meeting with only three patients/public comments included in the draft response in August 2016.

As the entire industry is aware of what I do, not least the College, to omit MBE/OERML from the process was deliberate and therefore I do not accept that you 'consulted widely with patients’, or that you ’tried’ - far from it! The College avoided consulting with patients for the same reasons they removed me from the RSSWG.

Meanwhile, for the purpose of accuracy and transparency, I'd appreciate it if you would please answer each of my previous six questions directly. [posted 14 April]

I look forward to your response.

Best wishes
Sasha Rodoy|My Beautiful Eyes Foundation

Awaiting reply :kiss:
Last Edit:21 Apr 2017 14:37 by admin

Replied by admin on topic Qs for the RCO cont'd

Posted 18 Apr 2017 16:26 #19

In response to my email Kathy speedily replied the next day - of course pre written by College trustees/council members, because - like the rest of this corrupt industry - they pay very close attention to OERML and knew in advance that I intended to challenge their claim that the RSSWG 'collaborated and consulted widely with patients'.

This did not answer my six questions and so today I wrote to Kathy again.

To be cont'd :kiss:
Last Edit:18 Apr 2017 16:30 by admin

Replied by admin on topic Qs for the RCO

Posted 14 Apr 2017 14:27 #20
To Kathy Evans, Chief Executive @ Royal College of Ophthalmologists...

For those like me who have difficulty reading small print since surgery...

"Re ‘The RSSWG collaborated and consulted widely with patients…’

Please provide the following information:

1) The number of patients with whom the RSSWG consulted?
2) The number of patients who collaborated with the RSSWG?
3) What was the process followed by the RSSWG in relation to the collaboration and consultations with patients?
4) How were these patients initially identified?
5) What was the criteria for either consultation or collaboration?
6) How were these patients contacted and where can evidence/data be found to show the numbers of patients who collaborated with and were consulted by the RSSWG?

Check back soon for Kathy's response :kiss:

Last Edit:14 Apr 2017 14:35 by admin
Moderators: admin

OERML & My Beautiful Eyes Foundation rely on your support to expose the horrors of this unregulated industry.

Your help is very much appreciated!