Katie is just one of a number of Optical Express employees who've contacted me over the last few months after being made redundant
'A young woman has claimed she was made redundant just 48 hours after telling her employer she was pregnant.
Katie, from Southampton, Hampshire, said: "I think it's purely because it's an inconvenience to have someone pregnant working for your company."'
And even her long term close friendship with frequently sacked Wee Shugster - aka Hugh Kerr* - didn't help keep Fiona Morton off OE's rapidly increasing redundancy list recently, responsible for sacking many people during her eight years as one of David Moulsdale's core team.
I've been expecting Optical Express to go into administration for almost two years, but they keep hanging on (not refunding deposits helps motivation), and with the entire refractive industry struggling right now, it will be interesting to see if this happens before the General Optical Council Fitness to Practise tribunal in September, because the guaranteed negative publicity can only make things worse for the company!
NB: Disgruntled employees always welcome to contact me with any inside info. Confidentiality guaranteed.
OE working with skeleton staff in virtually all departments I’m hearing.
Heard from a source that Moulsdale’s sidekick (well he was then he wasn’t but seems he is again) the delightful Hugh Kerr, seems to be running the show. Sending emails out to the stores.
Consensus is that the company wasn’t well prepared with PPE equipment with stores opening before the equipment was delivered, no clear instructions coming out of their head office advising staff on what to do. Basically thrown the staff in at the deep end.
Removing Optoms from diaries and telling them they are putting them on ‘furlough’ for those days, can they actually do that?
Regional Managers all made redundant...............
This is a sinking ship, will be keeping an eye out for the outcome of the GOC hearing!
Hearing of several redundancies again within Optical Express. Fiona Morton (Head of Projects) rumoured to be one alongwith quite a few Regional Managers and Store Staff.
This is on top of all the staff who were made redundant before the country was put on lockdown.
This is a Company on the skids, not going to be surprised if the lovely (sarcastic) Mr Moulsdale files for Administration (again).
Watch this space.......
On 15 February, I criticised refractive surgeon Allon Barsam, who’d told his 100% Optical audience in January, that in theory, 'you could have this procedure [laser] in the morning and go back to work in the afternoon. There is no real feeling of downtime.’
I discovered that I was not alone in my criticism, his peers also shocked at this misleading claim, some now highly critical of the fact that Allon and his colleagues at Ophthalmic Consultants of London opened their doors to perform non-essential eye surgery more than a week ago!
Such irresponsible behaviour is expected of Optical Express, but even they are not opening until 1 June (no doubt to save cash because they will have to start paying wages as soon as they ‘unfurlough’ staff) - but OCL surgeons are also employed as NHS ophthalmic consultants and should know better
And whilst I agree that Boris Johnson delivered a mixed message to our nation on 10 May, leaving many people confused about what they can and can't do (reminding me of the Hokey Cokey song), he made it clear that, 'This is not the time simply to end the lockdown this week. Instead we are taking the first careful steps to modify our measures.'
'He hoped the next step "at the earliest by 1 June" would be for some primary pupils to return to school in England.
In an address to the nation, Mr Johnson said this stage would also involve reopening shops - but he cautioned this would only happen if supported by science.
The next step could see some hospitality businesses and other public places reopen - "if the numbers support it" - but not earlier than 1 July.’
'BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said that, while the coronavirus has started to come under control, the PM's cautious announcement was "certainly not some kind of dramatic flinging of the doors open".
Clarifying the conditions in which schools and shops would reopen, Mr Johnson said: "Throughout this period of the next two months we will be driven not by mere hope or economic necessity.
"We are going to be driven by the science, the data and public health.
From OCL’s website: 'The health and wellbeing of our patients and staff is our greatest priority. We are a ‘Green clinic’ in that we have full control over who walks in (by appointment and pre-screening only) and unlike NHS hospitals we don’t have unwell patients in our building at any time.’
I don't care what screening is in place, how can they know if there are any unwell patients in the building? This gives patients a false sense of security.
How do they equate necessity and risk? Is it worth risking travelling to undergo unnecessary surgery? Are the toilets cleaned and disinfected after every visit by each individual, the door handles wiped down, etc, etc…?
I personally know many people who’ve had the coronavirus during the past few months, one of whom suffered none of the widely publicised symptoms, but as primary carer for a severely disabled child, to be safe, last Tuesday she and her husband took advantage of the drive-thru test centres now accessible to all.
Shocked when her results came back positive on Thursday, and by Friday she had developed severe symptoms - three days AFTER going for the test that she expected to prove negative.
His test negative, her husband still shows no sign of infection, nor does anyone else in the household, but his wife is now very unwell.
This begs the question, having opened their doors so early, do OCL patients have to sign a disclaimer in case they subsequently present with Covid-19, and does the clinic's medical indemnity policy cover this possibility?
The government continue to urge people to stay at home where possible, with NHS hospitals only recently and cautiously starting to provide urgent clinical services, important routine tests, and planned surgery.
Both Moorfields Eye Hospital and Moorfields Private Eye Hospital continue to defer all non-urgent treatment, and I am advised there are no plans to change that as yet.
As Ophthalmic Consultants of London surgeons are also employed by the NHS, I am especially disappointed with their actions, as they exhibit an appalling lack of social responsibility and poor professional standards at this time.
Emails from Leuly PPR owner Gemma Birbeck prove that AfPP CEO Dawn Stott knew all about Optical Express and the damage they've caused to so many thousands of people, PRIOR to her public statement of 21 February (see previous post), and in direct contradiction to her hypocritical mantra, 'We're absolutely passionate about improving patient safety and promoting best practice.'
These included live links to articles that one would expect any reputable organisation to immediately assess, and if validated, rapidly and publicly declare their disassociation from OE - surely
AfPP CEO Dawn Stott belatedly responded to my Subject Access Request (SAR) last week
Unfortunately she was selective, refusing to disclose personal data that I am entitled to, so my complaint now with the ICO.
However, I only skimmed through the data she chose to send, and until Ms A forwarded it to me this morning, I hadn't seen the 'formal public statement', drafted by Gemma Birbeck, founder of Leuly PPR, which Dawn Stott sent in response to Ms A's two emails, 'setting out AfPP’s final position'!*
Not only are there a number of discrepancies and blatant untruths in the AfPP 'public statement' (lack of due diligence again, which I also discussed with the ICO and am pursuing in accordance with their advice), but the penulitmate paragraph is jaw dropping - an absolute insult to Ms A, and to every single person left damaged by refractive eye surgery!
Dawn Stott's continued support for Optical Express shows her to be a hypocrite - 'We're absolutely passionate about improving patient safety and promoting best practice.'
'Patient Safety is at the heart of what we do… AfPP aims to enhance the quality of care and patient safety in the NHS and the independent sector throughout the UK.’
The following statement was released by Dawn Stott, CEO at The Association for Perioperative Practice on 21.02.2020 following concerns raised by Sasha Rodoy about the accreditation of two Optical Express theatres.
On 12 February 2020 AfPP received a handful of concerns via social media, email and phone relating to the recent accreditation of Optical Express’ Birmingham and Glasgow Theatres, carried out by our internal auditors.
We would firstly like to apologise to anyone who may have been affected by the public comments and would like to reassure you that we have taken steps to ensure no further comments are made.
The concerns were sparked after Optical Express announced the details of the accreditation on social media. Due to the complexity of the work carried out by AfPP during the accreditation, alongside the need to protect AfPP’s unique processes, full details of the how the accreditation was awarded were not included.
Because of this, a group of campaigners known as ‘Optical Express Ruined my Life’ led by Mrs.Sasha Rodoy, became frustrated and made an uninformed conclusion about what is involved in an AfPP Theatre Accreditation.
We would like to inform our members, and members of the public, that these complaints came from concerned individuals who had, in the past, suffered extreme consequences following laser eye surgery carried out by Optimax, and do not in any way represent the values and thoughts of AfPP employees, trustees, or members.
AfPP is a charity committed to enhancing patient and staff safety, and so when we are approached by organisations who are looking to go above and beyond what is required of them by the CQC to perform surgery, we are more than happy to engage with them.
Our accreditation process allows us to visit the theatres on several occasions and make recommendations based on our Standards and Recommendations for Safe Perioperative Practice (2016) and our Perioperative Audit Tool (second edition 2019) about delivering safe perioperative practice and assessing, evaluating and improving the care of patients in a systematic way. We do this through observation and checking that policies and procedures are embedded into practice. We then revisit the theatre team to observe their progress against their action plans. At this point, if we are happy that they have achieved a full green rating against our audit document, then the accreditation will be awarded.
It is important to make it clear that we don’t in any way assess their marketing efforts, the surgical techniques, or the qualifications of the surgeons they employ.
Whilst we sympathise with Mrs.Rodoy and her team, we conclude that the complaints are unjust on the basis that the process of AfPP Theatre Accreditation has not been fully understood.
As an organisation, we reserve the right not to disclose the full details of how an accreditation is carried out, however we would like to reassure Mrs. Rodoy and her team that the AfPP Theatre Accreditation is an industry recognised award which symbolises that the organisation in question has taken steps to enhance patient safety by altering their processes to perform safer surgery.**
We strongly believe that this should be viewed positively by all patients who in the past may have had negative experiences with surgical procedures involving their eyes.***
Should anyone have any questions relating to the complaints, or the accreditation process itself, please call 01423 881300 and ask to speak to Dawn Stott.
- ENDS -
*Ms A to Dawn Stott, posted 2 March: 'I have since lost my job as a paramedic with the ambulance service as I cannot safely drive under blue light conditions at night and I have had a subsequent 3 surgeries to try and resolve my vision issues but with no success unfortunately.'
Ms A was operated on by David Teenan, seen skulking in the background of the photo with OE staff holding the (£costly) AfPP award, posted 12 February.
**What possible reason could there be for the accreditation details of AfPP awards to be kept secret? Even PR Gemma suggested in one of their 'crisis comms' emails (re me) that it'd be 'useful to put a brief outline of the accreditation process on the website, just in case.'
As for being 'industry recognised' - which industry? Because since this kicked off in February, not one of the many people I regularly speak with in the optical industry had ever heard of the AfPP!
'The organisation in question has taken steps to enhance patient safety by altering their processes to perform safer surgery'. ROTFLMAO!
On 3 March I posted,
' • The Eye Laser Association: False advertising, and one for the ASA, because ELA no longer exists. I’m told it was short lived, with only a handful of members, including Boots and Optimax.’
I then complained to the Advertising Standards Authority, who wrote to Optical Express...
...who removed the fraudulent ELA detail from their website last week.
You will note that OE do not follow The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (unenforceable) guidelines, with many of their surgeons not even members.
As for adhering to the GOC’s strict standards - I beg to differ, as I have complained to the GOC!
Notably, OE don’t claim that their surgeons adhere to the GMC Good medical practice guidance - because they don’t, unethically and greedily following Moulsdale’s guidance, while the General Medical Council (GMC) turn their own blind eyes to this scandal!
And I’m surprised OE's expensive #AfPP accreditation has not yet been listed on their site in place of the non-existent ELA, but maybe Dawn Stott saw sense and gave Moulsdale his money back.
Meanwhile, it seems that David Moulsdale is not coping well with this lockdown, incandescent with rage after being called by a customer chasing a refund of their deposit for (cancelled) surgery.
When he learned that I'd provided his number to the person he hung up on them - but called them back within seconds!
He was stuttering with anger as he slandered me (no doubt turning puce, as he is wont to do when faced with proof of my existence*) and repeatedly spat out my name during the course of his call lasting 2.17 minutes!
*I personally witnessed the bizarre colour change I cause in Moulsdale, when he reluctantly shared a very small lift with me at the Royal College of Surgeons, accompanied by the toadying Tweedledum (aka Stephen Hannan), and the equally corrupt Steven Schallhorn.
Definitely one of the highlights of my lengthy campaigning career, story posted here 10 March 2015.
(3 of 3)
Thanks to creator Carl G for yet another inspirational image, aptly placing David Moulsdale (left) and Russell Ambrose against the gaping mouth of hell, portrayed by Pieter Bruegel the Elder in his 1563 'Dulle Griet’ painting
As posted on Monday 23 March, Optical Express and Optimax/Ultralase stores were still open that afternoon, irresponsibly holding sales consultations - and operating, whilst their competitors (and @NHS eye hospitals) had closed for anything other than emergency treatment.
A number of calls from campaigners throughout the day confirmed that the three providers continued to offer consultations...
But when I called OE's Westfield store at five pm, asking for a next day consultation, I was at long last told ‘no', because they were about to close for three months.
Many lucky people will definitely be a lot safer with Optical Express closed for three months!
Another campaigner calling Optimax at midday was offered a consultation at either Ultralase or Optimax clinics, available from Wednesday 25 March onwards, in Cardiff, Bristol, and Birmingham.
Expressing concerns about the seating arrangements and social distancing he was assured there would be a two metre space between chairs.
The sales person was recorded telling him the that the scans, 'and everything of your eyes’, would be done by machines so there wouldn't be anyone near his face, that he would be, 'sat down at the machine, and obviously the optometrist will stand back from that rather than on top of you to take all those readings.'
The same campaigner called back later in the day to question this, saying that he thought his head would be in a frame, with the optometrist close by, as when he’d been for eye tests at his local opticians.
The Optimax/Ultralase sales person replied that it wouldn’t be that close, because (quote), 'We do have a bit more distance than what you would have in an optician room though, so we do have more distance between yourself and the optometrist.’
Lol, did the optom intend to use a telescope?
I would suggest to Russell Ambrose that he urgently hold an induction course (when he’s allowed to open again), for staff like this obviously ignorant sales person (paid commission for every customer she gets through the doors) who was talking utter cr*p!
And I wonder for how much longer Russell would have continued to risk other people’s lives had Boris not announced a nationwide lockdown that night?
The following claim posted on Optimax' website is outrageous, and totally without merit - unless Russell knows more than the government!
Meanwhile, it appears that Moulsdale is not putting his company into administration (yet), instead he’s taking advantage of the Job Retention Scheme offered by the government, announcing last Wednesday to some employees that they were being placed on furlough, 80% of their wages to be paid by the government.
And I trust that doesn’t apply to Tweedles (aka Stephen Hannan), who IS still working, contrary to what they’d have you believe!
Posts here are normally restricted to refractive eye surgery related issues, but in this surreal and unprecedented world crisis I am making an exception
This video is dedicated to David Moulsdale and Russell Ambrose - both of whom I believe should be prosecuted for what was nothing less than criminal conduct earlier this week, endangering the lives of many people, staff and customers.
(More details coming in part '3 of 3’ soon)
Categorised as ‘Comedy' on YouTube, this video didn't make me laugh: its message needs to be taken seriously, especially by the morons who continue to behave irresponsibly, no better than drunk drivers, putting all our lives at risk!