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Reply: GMC General Medical Council


Topic History of : GMC General Medical Council

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23 Dec 2021 05:59 #36


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Craig Mellor initially went to Optical Express for laser eye surgery, and I would highly recommend that you read his story (especially if STILL considering surgery at this point!), because it is appalling how this led to him undergoing lens exchange surgery (and more) to fix the problems caused by the primary laser surgery: a total of EIGHT operations that subsequently left him with irreparably damaged eyes, and even worse vision problems.*

Drs Jan Venter and Andre Oberholster were investigated by the GMC, and though there were in fact three surgeons responsible for butchering Craig’s eyes, the GMC refused to investigate his complaint against Stefan Klopper (first surgeon) because it was over the 5 year time limit when Craig eventually submitted his complaints to the organisation.

I struggle to accept this 5 years limitation, not only because OE kept Craig in their system for so long before telling him there was nothing more to be done, but because just as the United Kingdom has no statute of limitations for criminal offences, and, dependent on individual circumstances, I think the same approach should be considered by both the GMC and GOC.

Meanwhile, I remain concerned with the oft repeated statements I have read in so many GMC instructed expert reports over the years (not just those from Ian Simmons).

When exactly does the 'overall care' that 'falls below the standard to be expected of a reasonably competent Consultant Ophthalmologist' become 'seriously below the standard to be expected of a reasonably competent Consultant Ophthalmologist' and warrant action? (The same wording used in both reports by Ian Simmons for Jan Venter and Andre Oberholster.)

I also cringe at the term 'reasonably competent ', as I'd hope that anyone who operates on me - for anything, including eyes - to be 'highly competent'!

Stephanie Holloway's complaint to the GMC had been closed prior to her landmark court victory in 2014 (thanks to the Patient Advisor Flow proving she was telling the truth about her patient pathway, provided in a bundle of OE documents posted to me by an anonymous insider - to whom I am forever grateful!), but her case was reopened after Dr Joanna McGraw was found negligent.

However, the GMC's final decision didn’t even include a warning ffs!

As for: 'Steps have been taken to improve this process’, tell that to the countless thousands of OE patients who've experienced, and continue to experience, the same lack of informed consent since 2014, many in litigation based on this issue!!

It is also relatively recently that the GMC refuse to disclose the names of their instructed medicolegal experts to complainants once a case is closed, as they did to Craig, and whilst I accept that the names should not be disclosed during the course of the investigation, I see no reason why this info should not be disclosed once closed.

There is a total lack of transparency by not doing so, and allows potential conflict of interests to go unchecked.

For example, as I wrote to the GMC’s CEO Charlie Massey:
'It could also be deemed a conflict of interest for Dr Simmons to have been involved in Mr Mellor's cases given his close working relationship with Dr Andrew Morrell, the medical expert instructed by Optical Express for the very same cases (settled out of court in Mr Mellor's favour).'

I repeat my question, who amongst you considers the GMC fit for purpose - or in need of a serious overhaul?

NB: I intend to post some of these reports in due course. And whilst there is much more to be told about the GMC, I’ll save it for another day.

*Craig is far from a rarity, some people having had a greater number of ‘enhancement’ ops in futile efforts to repair the problems, eyes removed, etc…

19 Dec 2021 13:50 #35


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All UK trained ophthalmologists prior to 2016 are proficient in cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is a foundation, a core, of an ophthalmologist’s work. Refractive surgery however, may include cataract surgery but it is only one aspect.

Asking someone to take “cataract surgery” off their biography because they are not a subspecialty trained refractive surgeon, just shows a lack of understanding of the subspecialties and training required to be an ophthalmologist.

Respectfully, do not challenge a person’s qualifications or experience if you do not understand it yourself. By trying to alienate those trying to help your cause.
admin: To understand my criticism, I ‘respectfully’ suggest that you read my post again, not least Ian Simmons’ own response, the point of which you appear to have missed.

You have chosen to post anonymously, with no reference to your own qualifications, and as you have not contacted me directly, hiding behind your keyboard, obviously not amongst the increasing number of ophthalmologists who actively help both my cause campaign and work as a patient advocate, in agreement re the GMC’s continued inappropriate choice of experts.

A wild guess presumes you to be one of these experts
23 Nov 2021 15:57 #34


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Ophthalmologist Ian Simmons widely advertises as a medico-legal expert, and has accepted instructions from both the GOC and General Medical Council (GMC).

And whilst he may be a skilled paediatric eye specialist, he is most definitely not a refractive surgeon :kiss:

Yet I am aware that his reports are responsible for many complaints against ophthalmic surgeons being closed by GMC case examiners, one so poor that Optical Express even included it in their defence to a legal claim from a damaged patient (claim successful!)

'Mr Simmons has been involved in a number of General Medical Council Fitness to Practice hearings.'

According to his CV, he writes around 150 medical reports per year (in addition to full time nhs.uk employment), and regularly attends phone conferences/meetings with counsel (aka barrister).

Allowing for two weeks holiday, this equates to THREE reports per week, on top of his NHS work!

In 2020, understandably unable to provide me with his name at that time, the GMC sent me the bio for a medico-legal expert they had instructed to report on a complicated laser surgery case I was involved in.

Worryingly, it was similar to that of Ian Simmons, and I expressed my concerns to the GMC.

They eventually reassured me that it was not Ian Simmons, but in the interim I had written to him as follows...

'Sent: 08 July 2020 17:16
Subject: Re expert reports
Hi Ian
To introduce myself, I am a patient advocate helping people damaged by refractive eye surgery, and advise a number of law firms who frequently ask me to recommend medical experts.
Your name has come to my attention, and I’d appreciate it if you would please therefore tell me:
1. Are you a refractive surgeon - as I can only find references to cataract surgery on your CV?
2. Able to provide reports for people damaged by laser and lens exchange procedures?
I look forward to hearing from you.

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

He replied...

'9 Jul 2020, at 08:59, SIMMONS, Ian wrote:

Good morning Sasha

I have been involved with the medicolegal aspects of refractive surgery but I am not a refractive surgeon myself.

Ian Simmons
Consultant Paediatric Ophthalmologist and Ophthalmic Surgeon
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust...'

Still playing nice, I thanked him for his fast response, and asked him to detail the basis of his understanding of refractive surgery procedures that enabled him to accept instructions as an expert in this field, so that I could confidently recommend him to law firms representing MBEF clients (fingers crossed behind my back).

I also told him there was an urgent laser case in need of an experienced expert, and asked if he would be prepared to consider this.

He replied...

'10 Jul 2020, at 14:10, SIMMONS, Ian wrote:
​I think it is better for me to decline Sasha. Your clients will be served more appropriately by a specialist refractive surgeon.

Ian Simmons
Consultant Paediatric Ophthalmologist and Ophthalmic Surgeon'
I responded...

'12 July 2020, at 18:42, SashaMBEF <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> wrote:
Thank you Ian - correct answer!

Which begs the question, why did you not decline to act as medical expert in a number of GMC refractive surgery cases, most of these relating to Optical Express Px?

Forgive the subterfuge, but...

It is my opinion, shared by a number of highly renowned surgeons, that no ophthalmologist who is not a refractive surgeon should be selling themselves as such an expert.

As one [ophthalmologist] surgeon wrote after seeing your credentials, 'It is like asking a colorectal surgeon to comment on neurosurgery’.

I have copies of a number of your GMC reports, including three written in 2014 relating to Craig Mellor’s surgeons (laser and lens ops x 8 ), in which you exhibit a lack of understanding of the modus operandi employed by this corrupt industry, repeatedly claiming that the standard of care offered by all OE surgeons you reported on, 'did not fall seriously below that to be expected of a reasonably competent Consultant Ophthalmologist’.

Ouch! All surgeons responsible for Craig's ops went on to freely damage thousands more patients’ eyes, but had your reports said different, many of them might have been saved.*

I recently detailed serious concerns to CEO Charlie Massey about the GMC being not fit for purpose, including criticism of inappropriate experts such as yourself.

And having admitted that, ‘Your clients will be served more appropriately by a specialist refractive surgeon’, may I humbly suggest that you would be advised to refuse future requests to act as a medico-legal expert for refractive surgery cases, as you are far from qualified to do so.

Perhaps also consider rewording your bio, which claims your specialist area of expertise includes cataract surgery.

Just as you have an ‘interest’ in cataract and corneal surgery (your Bupa page), I have an ‘interest’ in roses (I can at least prune them!), but would never claim to be a horticulturalist!

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

He didn't respond.

Meanwhile, who amongst you considers the General Medical Council (GMC) fit for purpose - or if in need of a serious shake up?

* www.opticalexpressruinedmylife.co.uk/ind...p/true-stories/craig
12 Nov 2021 19:54 #33


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And its not just me who thinks so, because I've spoken to many doctors, including GPs and nhs.uk consultants, one of whom told me he didn't know what he'd paid them for over so many years, as they'd done nothing for him :kiss:

I know that you may find part of this, and the next post, somewhat cryptic, if not extremely frustrating, because whilst I'd like to shout it from the rooftops, I am unable to tell you more until early next summer - but I promise it will be very much worth the wait!

In May 2020 I sent an extremely detailed email to the General Medical Council (GMC) Chief Executive, Charlie Massey, addressing a number of issues I have with the organisation, its modus operandi, and the matter I can't yet discuss.

I also wrote: ‘I have seen many GMC decisions and reports following complaints against refractive surgeons, and I am unaware of any (Dr Muhammad Qureshi an exception) having gone to FtP hearing. Please tell me if I am mistaken?'

Charlie didn't have the courtesy to reply himself, instead he passed on my concerns to staff members, and in May, my above question was treated as a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

However, the main purpose of my email was to ensure that Charlie cannot deny knowledge of what's been going on when (sh)it hits the fan next year, and how the GMC are partly (if not wholly) culpable! This should have come out in 2020, but delayed for reasons not only Covid related.

16 June 2020, the GMC Information Access Officer was struggling: "I have checked our specialist register and we do not have a specialty of ‘refractive surgery’."

I was asked to provide key search terms and a timescale...

She came back to me on 8 July 2020: 'I have conducted a search across all allegations that have been heard before a medical practitioners’ tribunal between 1 January 2011 – 31 May 2020, where there was mention of ‘laser’ or ‘lasik’ or ‘lasek’ or ‘PRK’ or ‘RLE’ or ‘refractive’ or ‘lens’ in the allegation description, and this identified four doctors who had allegations linked to refractive surgery. Please note that this does include Dr Qureshi.’

I requested their names: 'I can confirm that Dr Muhammad Ali Qureshi (4155241) and Dr Srinivas Venkatachalapathy Goverdhan (5186084) are two of the doctors linked to the below numbers.

The other two doctors names have been withheld as we can only publish details in line with our disclosure policy. When a case progresses to a hearing, certain information may be made publicly available by the GMC, otherwise the information is treated as the confidential personal data of the doctor and other parties involved. I’ve given details of the exemption under the FOIA which applies below. For assistance, here is a link to our disclosure policy
: www.gmc-uk.org/-/media/documents/DC4380-...-policy-36609763.pdf '

In fact Dr Goverdhan, suspended for 6 months, is NOT a refractive surgeon: dokumen.tips/documents/public-record-of-...pt-dr-goverdhan.html

That left three: I attended Qureshi’s lengthy FtP hearing at the MPTS in Manchester (scroll back to January 2019 for details), so who were the other two?

One I understand is a doctor who used to work at Optical Express (his story overdue), apparently for operating on a close family member (even though they all do it), and because the case was closed without sanctions, his details removed from public records.

The third surgeon’s case must have been similarly closed, but I have no idea who s/he is - and if anyone in the industry would care to tell me in confidence, you know where I am!

Besides one person in senior management, and some of the council members, it appears that GMC triage staff are not medical professionals, needing to rely on the report of a paid medicolegal ‘expert’ when considering complaints against doctors.

If then sent to case examiners, they also rely on the expert's report when making their decision whether or not to send a doctor to FtP.

I would have no argument with this - IF said ‘experts' actually understood the issues they’re reporting on!

According to the GMC’s own guidelines, an expert should make it clear if a particular issue falls outside their expertise.

Unfortunately however, in my humble opinion, some of these lucratively paid experts wrongly accept cases they should have declined, as I believe my next post will illustrate.
11 May 2020 18:42 #32


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Fao UK victims :kiss:

If you have complained to the General Medical Council at any time about the surgeon(s) responsible for damaging your eyes, but they refused to investigate/dismissed the case/took no action


If you have had debilitating surgery within the last five years and not yet complained to the GMC, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

21 Sep 2019 14:51 #31


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It seems I was too generous excusing Bobby Qureshi’s absence from the MPTS hearing on Wednesday (read previous post) :kiss:

I’d assumed that he was in Dubai - as I expect the tribunal members did too - so was shocked to hear that Dr Muhammad Qureshi had been spotted on Tuesday at The European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) Congress in Paris, presumably peddling his wares!

Notified soon after 2pm on Tuesday, Bobby could very comfortably have made it to Manchester in time for the hearing on Wednesday, with plenty of fast planes and trains from Paris to Manchester and/or London!

This was a deliberate snub, as I’m sure Bobby Q was in little doubt about his fate, with no intention of thanking the tribunal for striking him off the General Medical Council (GMC) register or talking to journalists (though none attended, with one texting me for info).

I was personally disappointed because, during a conversation over the MPTS coffee machine last week, Bobby had promised me a photo and short interview, when he also asked if I was aware of the jealousy and back stabbing amongst ophthalmic surgeons that he claims to have been a victim of for many years.

Indeed, after more than eight years talking to countless surgeons I am aware, not forgetting that I listened to Niall Patton, the GMC medical expert instructed in this case, wallow in his lucratively paid opportunity to bitch about a competitor for hours at a time - whilst telling a few porkies himself!

I have now published all 9 pages of the MPTS 'Determination On Sanction’ on OERML website forum: www.opticalexpressruinedmylife.co.uk/…/12541-gmc-ge…