Thanks to Bobby Qureshi @ the London Eye Hospital for making a valuable contribution to my campaign with his BBC Radio 4 interview yesterday!
Listen closely when Bobby tells presenter Winifred Robertson that offering money to keep a patient from talking to the media is, “Standard practice in the healthcare industry”!
And he believes it “fair” that a damaged patient should not be allowed to speak publicly about their treatment because the GMC rules do not allow him to discuss individual patients.
Weak argument, because damaged patients are perfectly happy to give their permission to waive confidentiality if they’re talking to the media, to allow the provider/surgeon the right of reply - as did all my Optimax/OE/Ultralase clients who’ve given interviews to the press over the years!
Obviously reading from notes Bobby Qureshi claimed “One in ten people” who experience cloudy vision following routine cataract surgery will require subsequent treatment, but because the technology of his 'Hubble Implants’ is "far better than anything that’s gone before” only "one or two in perhaps a hundred” require subsequent treatment.
He presumably sourced these wobbly and unsubstantiated statistics from the same database as those he gave Winifred, when he told her that only “a handful” of people were disappointed with the results. Yet after a little encouragement Bobby admitted that "perhaps a dozen or so” were disappointed, actually ‘four handfuls’ if you pay attention to his numbers, assuming 5 digits per hand!
I met with RCOphth Chief Executive Kathy Evans in July, when she confirmed that the Council’s decision to remove me from my position as Lay Advisor to the Working Group was entirely due to, "unsolicited information provided by David Moulsdale".
My subsequent SARs gleaned disturbing evidence of collusion between some members of the College hierarchy and David Moulsdale.
Journalist Simon Lennon started researching info for yesterday’s story in August, so I trust David now understands the text I sent to him @ twenty five minutes past midnight on 25 July:
"For every action there is a reaction…
Tick tock ”
If you read my previous posts (5-9 December) you will know that the Royal College meeting with Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell was in fact convened at my request, to argue the College's decision to remove me from my position as Lay Representative on the Refractive Standards Working Group.
This decision was entirely due to David Moulsdale's successful lobbying of pivotal College Council members and his Machiavellian ploy to discredit me.
Regardless of the solid evidence that John and I presented in support of our argument for my reinstatement to the panel - and Teenan's removal, David Moulsdale indisputably calls the shots.
Proven when Vice President Peter Tiffin told the Shadow Chancellor, “And the feeling was that because of those unsolicited emails (from David Moulsdale) it was felt that Sasha’s presence on the committee would jeopardise its progress. But that’s the only reason, we want to get standards out, but we can’t do it without Optical Express being involved. Because if they’re not on board they won’t accept the standards.”
"Glasgow-based Optical Express highlights impact of weak consumer confidence and restructuring"
"The latest accounts filed for the DCM (Optical Holdings) business last month show losses increased to £15.4m before tax in the year to 27 December 2014, from £6.3m in the preceding year. Mr Moulsdale, a former Entrepreneur of the Year, blamed the reverse on weak consumer confidence and ongoing restructuring of the business."
admin wrote: "Additionally, we feel that our statement that the procedure is normally safe is backed up by NHS statistics that demonstrate that complications occur in less than 5% of cases in the UK."
Mark Harrison Watchdog | BBC One
Statistics can be very misleading unless the underlying parameters are made very clear. The BBC quoting 5% is meaningless unless the source of the study on which it is based is quoted. Similarly the nature of the complications, their severity and also the duration need to be specified.
Of course 100 (replaceable) cars bursting into flames are far more important than tens of thousands of people's (irreplaceable) eyes being damaged.
My email exchange with Watchdog team this afternoon following my complaint concerning their 'weakdog' cover of Ultralase on 8 October:
From: Sasha Rodoy
Sent: 23 October 2015 14:20
To: Elen Moore
Subject: Re: As discussed, re Ultralase/Optimax
I had expected to have heard from Mark by now.
As well as the Watchdog advertorial for Utralase/Optimax on 8 October, I would also like to discuss the significantly high number of emails sent to Watchdog from damaged eye surgery patients spanning 3 yrs, many of which were copied to me.
I hope Mark will find time to call me as this is a major scandal ignored by too many who know about it yet in a position to help expose it.
On 23 Oct 2015, at 15:14, Elen Moore wrote:
Mark will be getting back to you today.
On 23 Oct 2015, at 18:08, Mark Harrison wrote:
Dear Ms. Rodoy,
Thank you for contacting the programme. We note your concerns with our Ultralase piece and I would like to address your comments.
With regards to the risks associated with laser eye surgery, as part of our broadcast we did outline that some people do require follow-up care after their initial treatment. Additionally, we feel that our statement that the procedure is normally safe is backed up by NHS statistics that demonstrate that complications occur in less than 5% of cases in the UK. Regarding the Terms & Conditions- as part of our research we looked into these requirements but were unable to discuss these in detail during our broadcast due to time constraints. Those that have undergone the procedure have the full information on what terms they are expected to have met in their initial documentation.
Thank you for providing us with information on your own case earlier this year. On this occasion we did not have sufficient evidence to focus on damage to eyes during this procedure and chose to focus on the Ultralase Lifetime Guarantee based upon the weight of complaints on this subject to the programme. However, should we look to cover laser eye surgery again in the future we would certainly look to contact you again.
Watchdog | BBC One
On 23 Oct 2015, at 19:08, Sasha Rodoy wrote:
Oh Mark, please!
It wasn’t only me who provided you with info, Watchdog has been bombarded with emails from 100s of patients damaged by eye surgery for the last 3-4 years - I have copies of many of these forwarded to me.
Also, I’m in court on 11/12 November v Russell Ambrose t/a Optimax for breach of agreement. Why didn’t your researchers pick that up?
Re "Additionally, we feel that our statement that the procedure is normally safe is backed up by NHS statistics that demonstrate that complications occur in less than 5% of cases in the UK.”
Which stats, where? I’m shocked that an investigative programme team did not check facts before simply repeating something that’s presumably been picked off NHS Choices or similar.
Refractive eye surgery is not available on the NHS (only cataract surgery), it is privately controlled and unregulated, and estimated complications after surgery at high street clinics are 30-40%, so how can the NHS provide stats for the high street clinics?!
This is a major scandal that I’ve been fighting for 4 years, and John McDonnell will support everything I tell you (copied in)!
Take a look at the recent post on my Facebook page:
I assure you, Ronnie is sadly far from a unique case!
Nor does your email make sense as I spoke with Helen a number of times and provided her with a lot of info:
"On 14 Apr 2015, at 15:03, Helen Collins wrote:
Hi, my name is Helen Collins and I work at BBC Television. Please could you give me a call the number below. I am currently doing some research into Optical Express and would like to talk to you about it.
Producer, BBC Watchdog
With respect, you are so uninformed and I really would appreciate a call to discuss in person.
My Beautiful Eyes
Patient Advocate & Campaign Manager
I called Watchdog earlier and explained how disappointed and angry so many people are with last night's investigation.
I pointed out a number of important issues not mentioned, including those noted in my previous post, adding that it was irresponsible for presenter Chris Hollins to claim that laser eye surgery is "usually very safe", while ignoring the estimated tens of thousands of patients left with problems!
I have been assured that they will consider all email complaints received and the series producer will discuss this with me next week.
It's therefore vital that Ultralase/Optimax patients email their stories - but everyone else too please!
If you are an OE patient who has been affected by the administration scam, mention this!