Royal College of Ophthalmologists | RCOphth

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Replied by admin on topic Previous post cont'd re RSSWG & Bernie Chang...

Posted 31 Jul 2016 16:59 #41
Bernie approached me at the meeting - not the reverse as he claims in a later email to me.

I pointed out, as everyone knows, that it was a complete farce to have replaced me with Rea Mattocks as RSSWG lay representative, who knows zero about the industry and showed no interest in my work during my short time on the Lay Advisory Group - before I resigned in disgust!

Bernie didn’t disagree and told me that the College ‘have tried to do this without you (me) and it will probably come back to bite us (RCO)’. I suggested that perhaps therefore they should put me back on the RSSWG.

I also pointed out that, as I was allegedly removed from the RSSWG ONLY due to spurious complaints from David Moulsdale, because the College now knew the truth there was every reason to reinstate me. Refractive Surgery Standards Working Group Public Engagement Day on 18 May

Surprisingly he said that he would put it to the College - and even more surprisingly he did so! But that’s where any growing seed of respect I had for Bernie died.

Please note that at no time did I tell Bernie that I would treat his email correspondence as confidential. He foolishly made that assumption!
27 May 2016

Dear Sasha

Thank you for attending the Refractive Surgery Standards Working Group Public Engagement Day and for your contribution that afternoon.

Following your conversation with me, I would like to confirm that I have passed your request to be reconsidered for membership of this Working Group to the Trustees of the College, as it was this group that originally made the decision regarding your exclusion from the RSSWG. If you wish to submit your request with new evidence to support your position to be in the group please submit this to the Chief Executive, Kathy Evans by Friday 3rd June.

Yours sincerely,

Bernie Chang

Chair of Professional Standards Committee
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists

I submitted my evidence…
13 June 2016

Dear Sasha

The Council of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists met on Friday 10th June and it considered your request to join the Refractive Surgery Standards Working Group (RSSWG) and the papers that you sent to be circulated to the trustees. Council agreed unanimously to turn down your request; the RSSWG has completed the greater part of its work. There will shortly be two further documents put out to consultation and you are welcome to comment on those.

Best wishes

Kathy Evans | Chief Executive
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists

Unanimously’! I forwarded Kathy’s email to Bernie…
13 Jun 2016

Hi Bernie…

Pls see attached. Pls confirm whether you were at this meeting.

Best wishes,
13 Jun 2016

Hi Sasha

I am sorry the decision was not favourable. The short answer is "yes" I was there last Friday.


13 Jun 2016

May I ask what was your own reason for voting against?
Bernie’s reply was astonishing - my feedback would be ‘invaluable’, yet he voted against my reinstatement!
14 Jun 2016

Dear Sasha,

My reply is a personal one to you and I would ask that this remains between the 2 of us.
I did not argue against your request to join but I did agree with the decision to decline your request for membership. The main reason is that the work of the RSSWG is now too far ahead to add any new member(s) to it at this late stage.
Personally I am really sorry that I cannot help you and those who have already suffered complications. My aim though as chair of Professional Standards (and as a doctor) is to try to safeguard future patients. I feel that your feedback about the guidance and recommendations we have written so far would be invaluable as you have the expertise about the patient's experience when things go wrong.
The question is whether you (and your fellow patients) would have suffered the same complications and all that followed had the standards and recommendations we set been in place before you had laser refractive surgery? If your answer is still "Yes" please tell us what amendments we need to make.
The standards we wish to set will be high and those proposed so far, despite objections from obvious sources have not been "dumbed down". Everyone on the working group and in practice must sign up to them once they are set.
You can contribute hugely outside of the working group and I hope that you will.


17 Jun 2016

Hi Bernie…

Thanks for your reply, but I find it full of contradictions.

As it was you who suggested putting my request to the trustees that they reinstate me I’m amazed that you then voted against!

You say that my request for membership was declined (mainly) because, 'the work of the RSSWG is now too far ahead to add any new member(s) to it at this late stage.’ (I would appreciate hearing the other reasons)

Yet then you say, 'I feel that your feedback about the guidance and recommendations we have written so far would be invaluable as you have the expertise about the patient's experience when things go wrong.’

Unarguably the reason I should have been involved from the beginning, and obviously why I was nominated as LAG rep.

As we all know, appointing Rea Mattocks in my place in October was a complete farce, and sadly as a result there has been zero patient representation.

When we spoke at the meeting on 18 May and I mentioned this, you told me that you do want to speak to damaged patients. When is the College planning to do this?

Following the feedback on the draft from damaged Px (entirely thanks to me), have any significant changes been made to the draft? e.g. 95% success rate

I would also argue that without me, and John McDonnell, there would be no WG, no matter that Carrie MacEwen now attempts to claim credit.

Re 'You can contribute hugely outside of the working group and I hope that you will.’

By excluding me from the WG, the College insulted me and every one of the thousands of damaged patients I represent, and the thousands more yet to come - and believe me, without government regulation they will.

I lost all respect for the College when you shockingly allowed a corrupt businessman to influence you to remove me from the WG, when there was indisputably no-one better qualified for the position. I gave you a second chance, but yet again you’ve chosen to exclude me.

You also told me that you have, 'tried to do this without (me) and it will probably come back to bite us’ - trust me Bernie, it will!

For your information, this week I was contacted by two new clients in Scotland, both damaged by David Teenan, and I have lost count of how many legal claims there are now in process against him.

As you know I have a meeting with Ben Gummer at the end of June, and I will be providing the health minister and DoH officials with all details of the previous collusion between the College and David Moulsdale according to the info received via my SARs

Meanwhile, the College are welcome to post announcements concerning future drafts/public consultations on my OERML sites, as I certainly won’t be doing so.

Best wishes,
The **stars** are mine for ease of reference in my response to Bernie...
17 Jun 2016

Dear Sasha

Thanks to you as well for replying with your side of things.
Yes you are right- when you approached me* on the Public Day to ask if your position on the working group be reconsidered, I agreed to ask the question on your behalf (despite knowing this would not be a popular action**).
I felt it was only right to give you the opportunity to be heard. This was also out of respect for you and recognising your experience in this area.
Any decision though had to come from the College itself. It wasn't mine to make. The discussion and debate that was had was comprehensive. It became clear that any change to the membership would mean having to re open it and start again*** (to be fair to all parties). With the work being so far ahead already, it would have been unreasonable to make the WG and especially its chair do this. They have worked hard without pay**** to produce the work so far which I feel is good and there will high expectations of surgeons performing this procedure (much more than in other areas of practice). As I said in my last e mail this was a big reason for me to agree with the decision to decline any new membership.
You have asked a pertinent question in your e mail- how do we get the opinions of damaged patients and from the public much better than we have so far.*****
Again I promise that I will ask this question of the working group at its next meeting. Please bear in mind that the output and decisions on this and other matters are those of the group and not my own.

20 Jun 2016

Hi Bernie…

Thanks for your response.

* For the record, it was in fact you who approached me when you pulled up a chair to chat. And only after you’d assured me that you hadn’t colluded/met with Moulsdale did I suggest the College might invite me back to work with the group, and you replied, ‘What if I say that I will propose it?’.

** Apart from my having been told that Carrie McEwen personally dislikes me, how did you know this would be an unpopular action - with whom and why? Unless David Moulsdale was consulted he can’t be blamed this time.

*** Nonsense - not necessary at all! I could have been appointed as ‘draft consultant’ or other similar title. And, ’to be fair to all parties’ cues another debate entirely!

**** Please… you’re all high earners and will benefit from this work one way or another. Whereas I work 7 days a week, helping thousands of people without pay, and I receive no financial help from organisations supposedly concerned about Px welfare.

***** This is a no brainer - by working with me instead of against.

Whether Carrie MacEwen and her cohorts like me or not is irrelevant - I am the ONLY person in the country helping damaged patients, all of whom are as disgusted with the RCO (and GMC/CQC) as I am.

And you know quite well, without my support the College has no way of engaging with damaged Px/public - as was proven by the meeting on 18 May!

Perhaps you should consider going against the tide and mention this at the next meeting, otherwise the obvious conclusion to be drawn is that the College are not interested in any input other than that of surgeons and the industry.

Best wishes,
I think Bernie had realised at this point that he’d possibly said too much. He also didn’t know then that I’d recorded our conversation (albeit unintentionally).
20 Jun 2016

Hi Sasha

I do remember that you asked me if you could be invited back when I went up to you for a chat.
That was when I said I would ask the question about your membership on your behalf which as you know I did. Again I did this as I felt it was only fair to you.
I agree we are paid well as consultants but believe me getting volunteers for College work isn't easy. Speaking from personal experience I have lost days seeing my family and certainly given up my private practise days for the College which does come at a financial cost.
At the end of the day, I don't decide for the College. If you would be willing to be something akin to a patient advocate outside of the working group I think you should write to Kathy our CE to propose this.

PS I am very happy to confirm in writing that I have not met or colluded with David Mousdale on any issues and especially not on the topic of refractive surgery standards.

I’ll give you time to digest this before publishing my emails sent to Kathy Evans... :kiss:
Last Edit:06 Sep 2020 16:36 by admin
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Replied by admin on topic RSSWG

Posted 11 Jul 2016 09:31 #42
'The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) wants its governance structure to be more open and responsive...'

What a novel idea - I wonder what’s in it for them!

Meanwhile, some of you may have wondered why I didn't post any details about the Refractive Surgery Standards Working Group Public Engagement Day on 18 May.

The reason being, I was approached by Bernie Chang during the tea break, when he desperately tried to convince me that he had not colluded with David Moulsdale to remove me from the Working Group last year, and as a result of our conversation Bernie said that he would speak to the College Trustees about reinstating me. (Bernie is the College's Senior Vice President.)

I therefore decided not to comment on the meeting until I had their decision (and had actually forgotten with so much else going on since).

After being invited to submit new evidence supporting my request to be reinstated, on 13 June I received an email from Kathy Evans, 'Council agreed unanimously to turn down your request’.

But that’s not the end of the story...

I recorded the Public Engagement Day meeting for those unable to attend, and had totally forgotten this when Bernie approached me during the tea break. Oops!

To be cont'd... :kiss:
Last Edit:11 Jul 2016 09:51 by admin
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Replied by admin on topic Refractive Surgery Standards draft...

Posted 03 Jun 2016 12:42 #43
The consultation period closes next week, and I encourage everyone to respond to the following RCOphth invitation and comment on at least one of the points highlighted in red...

Please send comments to beth.barnes@rcophth.ac.uk by Wednesday 8 June :kiss:

'Thank you for your interest in the College’s consultation on the new Refractive Surgery Standards, if you have not already done so, we encourage you to have your say and comment on the draft documents:

1. Standards for Patient Information and Consent
2. Advertising and Marketing Standards
3. Procedure specific information for patients; Patient Information Refractive Lens Exchange, Patient Information Phakic Intraocular Lens Implantation, Patient Information Laser Vision Correction, Patient Information References.

The College is specifically interested in comments on
• the comprehensiveness and applicability of the documents
• the content and clarity of the documents and their suitability for different environment
• whether the advice looks straightforward and is usable by service providers and service users
• the interpretation of the evidence available to support its recommendations
• the likely impact on patient groups affected by the standards
• the likely impact/ability of service providers to implement the recommendations
• do the standards achieve their intended aim(s)

Beth Barnes | Head of Professional Support
The Royal College of Ophthalmologists
beth.barnes@rcophth.ac.uk | D. 020 3770 5328 | 18 Stephenson Way, London, NW1

Last Edit:03 Jun 2016 13:02 by admin
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Replied by admin on topic Today - Royal College of Ophthalmologists

Posted 11 May 2016 10:23 #44
Industry meeting today!

2-5 pm @ RCOphth, 18 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HD

David Moulsdale and Stephen Hannan will be there, accompanied by Steve Schallhorn I’m told...

David Teenan will of course be there as a member of the Working Group.

Meanwhile, even though the 5 May deadline has passed I have been assured that places are still available for the Refractive Surgery Standards Engagement Session (for the public) - unsurprising as it was only advertised on the RCOphth website!

Wednesday 18 May 2016, 2.00 - 5.00 pm @ Goodenough College, London House, Mecklenburgh Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1N 2AB

I look forward to meeting those of you who can make it then :kiss:

Booking form here: www.rcophth.ac.uk/…/refractive-surgery-standards-en…

If you can't make it, please read the draft and make your comments here: www.rcophth.ac.uk/…/refractive-surgery-standards-co…
Last Edit:11 May 2016 10:28 by admin
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Replied by admin on topic Meeting 18 May - register now!!!

Posted 05 May 2016 11:32 #45
I strongly urge anyone who can do so to register TODAY to attend this meeting!

Booking form here: www.rcophth.ac.uk/standards-publications...-engagement-session/

To register email booking form to Beth Barnes, Head of Professional Support beth.barnes@rcophth.ac.uk by 5 May 2016 - TODAY!!

These are the standards I was invited to help write after being appointed as lay advisor to the group in May 2015, until David Moulsdale expressed his displeasure and the College removed me to keep him happy (read previous posts)

Having briefly read through this draft I am not as disappointed as I expected to be - I am disgusted, it reads more like a promo for eye surgery!

Standards written by refractive surgeons for the benefit of their bank accounts, with no real acknowledgement of the frequent irreparable problems and side effects so often suffered by patients (unless I've missed something), and zero input from a lay person with any knowledge and understanding about refractive eye surgery!

I very much look forward to being enlightened on the source of this claim :kiss:

David Teenan's contribution perhaps? (Has this draft had David Mouldsale's approval yet I wonder)

I will comment more on this later, but before then do encourage you to read through and give your opinion.
Last Edit:03 Jun 2016 12:41 by admin
  • Stove

Replied by Stove on topic Legislation...

Posted 13 Apr 2016 05:27 #46
Is Laser eye surgery declared as cosmetic surgery? What about Refractive lens surgery?
admin: No, refractive eye surgery of any kind is definitely not a cosmetic procedure.
Cosmetic surgery aims to improve a person's appearance :kiss:
Last Edit:13 Apr 2016 08:27 by Stove
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Replied by admin on topic Legislation...

Posted 12 Apr 2016 13:44 #47
If the RCS can do this then why can Prof Carrie MacEwen and her cohorts at the Royal College of Ophthalmologists not do the same? Their reluctance to work with me and John McDonnell and show support for our campaign calling for regulation of the refractive eye surgery industry is disappointing - to say the least!

'The GMC has been working with the Royal College of Surgeons of England, which is launching its own set of professional standards for cosmetic surgeons.

The RCS is also calling on the government to introduce new legislation at the next Queen's Speech in May to make sure surgeons are certified to carry out cosmetic operations.

Will the RCOphth similarly call for the government to introduce legislation after their new standards are eventually published, or will they continue to appease David Moulsdale?
Last Edit:12 Apr 2016 18:01 by admin
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Replied by Carl G on topic Royal College of Ophthalmologists

Posted 22 Mar 2016 19:52 #48
I couldn't agree more Caro; the picture is of a well-regulated industry. The reality is something closer to the Wild West. What really annoys me though is the likes of Ben Gummer defending the status quo as though everything were fine. It's actually a bloody mess, and when the public - and press - realise the number of cases in litigation as opposed to the number cases being referred by the GMC, CQC, RCO and GOC then fingers are going to be pointed.
by Carl G
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Replied by Interested. on topic Prof Carrie MacEwen on BBC Radio 4 tonight

Posted 22 Mar 2016 16:34 #49
I wonder if Prof MacEwen will mention the burden put on the NHS thanks to problems the refractive eye surgery industry is causing. I suspect not, which will be all the more dishonest of her as the vast numbers of industry damaged patients having to get help from the NHS is certainly adding to the capacity and demand issues!

Last Edit:22 Mar 2016 22:55 by Interested.
  • Caro

Replied by Caro on topic Royal College of Ophthalmologists

Posted 22 Mar 2016 10:03 #50
As someone whose eyes and life have been ruined by high street Lasek and subsequent bullying, the College's behaviour sickens me. Lay members are made to feel "exceedingly uncomfortable" and are "upset" by Sasha's efforts to share true facts about the refractive surgery industry with them? She is the one who has good reason to be upset, not only because of the College's behaviour towards her and her fellow eye surgery victims, but because of the suffering that she now has to live with for the rest of her life, thanks to failed surgery at Optimax.

While any meeting should be conducted in a polite and civilised manner, a total lack of emotion and refusal to hear the truth can only mean that the people present don't care.

I would like to see some ophthalmologists get angry now; angry that so many people are having their eyes and lives needlessly ruined, because there is no excuse for this.
Last Edit:22 Mar 2016 14:40 by Caro
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