Having taken a quick look at some of his blogs, fluffy haired journalist Stuart Heritage appears to be an affable and inoffensive chap, but he's not too pleased with me after I responded to his online piece in yesterday's Guardian earlier today!
When he lied, in response to Professor Michael O'Keeffe's vehement criticisms of commercial eye surgery clinics, Steven Schallhorn - OE's IMAB chair and ex Global MD, now with Carl Zeiss - should have been struck down by lightning!
'We do not perform any procedures that would be inappropriate for the patient. Why would we?'
Mmmm... let me think Stevie, why would you?
And, 'He said contrary to what Mr O'Keeffe had asserted, a rigorous informed consent procedure is adopted and patients are fully informed about any possible adverse outcomes.
Dr Schallhorn said Optical Express clinics are run to the highest possible standards. They have an international medical advisory board [IMAB] of eminent doctors who oversee clinical governance of the clinics, and a rigorous quality improvement system examines outcomes.'
In fact, if there were any justice in our universe, all those complicit in weaving the tissue of lies that result in so many thousands of people left to live out their lives with ruined eyesight, pain, depression etc... would develop inoperable cataracts!
And I would personally be happy to take up laser eye surgery if I could practise on every person responsible for what's happened to my eyes - that includes members of the organisations who purport to protect people like me but unarguably do not!
NB: IMAB is 'international' only because most of its members are domiciled overseas. All members are paid by Optical Express to be on the board.
Of course I couldn’t leave Optical Express out of the fun when I sent Optimax a Subject Access Request (details on GENERAL OPTICAL COUNCIL thread), so they got one too, and last Friday I received OE’s disclosures - or as few as they thought they could get away with!
Only approx 500 pages from OE, not nearly as many as Optimax sent, and it has to be said that OE's lawyers fall behind Optimax with their presentation. (Very poor indexing boys, doesn’t help my eyes at all!)
And while I haven’t yet found anything too exciting that I wasn’t expecting, I have noted there are a number of docs that they have failed to disclose! I have pointed this out to OE’s lawyer and look forward to their response.
This (heavily redacted) letter to the GMC is of interest to me however, because the GMC did not disclose it under the SAR I sent to them last year!
I will be asking why not, and what else did the GMC keep from me
I do intend to publish some more of the docs in due course, as you might be interested to see just how closely OE watch my activities - and yours if you post on OERML website forum/Facebook/Twitter, or comment on OE's own pages - and what a problem we are causing them.
I highly recommend that anyone left with problems after surgery (no matter who the provider) invest £10 in a Subject Access Request.
Not only does this at the very least cause them a great deal of inconvenience, but it can also be very helpful if you’re in litigation, because whereas internal emails are not generally part of disclosure in legal cases, they have to be disclosed under your SAR.
And what you might discover has been written about you might possibly be of value to your legal claim.
Meanwhile, although I’m flattered that OE consider my campaign to be ‘well organised’, I wouldn't call it ‘malicious', I much prefer to describe it as ‘informative '!
And they really shouldn’t take it personally, because although OERML inadvertently became the heart of the campaign in 2013, it’s the entire industry I want to see regulated and stopped from irreparably damaging any more people’s eyes!!
OE lawyers sent this (almost an apology) with the SAR documents:
'We further understand that OE only processes your personal data for the reason that you and the organisations with which you are associated, most notably “Optical Express Ruined My Life” and “My Beautiful Eyes”, have engaged in continuous and high profile campaigns and activities against and directed at OE. We have been advised that OE would not have cause to process your personal data if you had not engaged in such campaigns or activities and is only required to do so for the purposes of protecting OE’s legitimate interests (both OE’s commercial interests and the personal interests of both OE’s staff and other parties whom OE has engaged and engages to provide services on OE’s behalf) and for the purposes of protecting OE’s legal rights and commercial reputation vis-à-vis OE’s interactions with you.’
My response - and as I know they’ll read (and screenshot) this I won’t bother sending an email:
‘I would not have cause to engage in a continuous and high profile campaign and activities against and directed at OE et al had they not engaged in such activities that are damaging people’s eyes and ruining their lives. OERML is only required for the purposes of protecting people’s legitimate interests in keeping their healthy eyes by fully informing them of the significantly high risks of this unnecessary surgery, and helping others (where possible) for whom it’s too late!'
The damaged lens exchange patient who sent me this photo (@ Optical Express Westfield store in White City) can be forgiven for thinking it was to advise prospective patients what was very likely to happen to them AFTER laser eye surgery!
Hi Louise. You asked for advice & thoughts. Well, here's mine -
Advice- Don't do it, & cancel your ops !
Thoughts- Don't do it, & cancel your ops !
If anyone still goes ahead with ops after viewing the OERML site, I would seriously question their state of mind, as OE treat people who want deposits back appallingly, let alone their huge numbers of permanently damaged patients !
All damaged patients will suffer for the rest of their lives. You don't have to !
Louise wrote: After reading this website, the stories, the form posts, I'm slightly worried.
Louise, if you want to hear 'good experiences' go to the Optical Express sites where you will read plenty of these! In fact, you’ll be lucky to find any posts there from damaged patients - especially those in litigation - because OE delete them!
As for Optical Exress reviews on Trustpilot - a mismoner if ever there were one!
I suggest you listen to the YouTube video below your comment, where Stacey tells me there have NEVER been any problems.
Hmmm... strange then that I deal with complaints from damaged patients every single day, with many 100s currently in litigation, and other cases already settled out of court - unlike Stephanie Holloway's highly publicised victory in 2014, when OE shot themselves in the foot by defending her claim in court which cost them dearly!
And I’m sure I speak for all concerned, no-one posting on OERML wants sympathy, they want to stop people like you suffering similar problems for the rest of your life!
Dry eyes, haloes etc... are bad enough, but certainly not the worst thing you could suffer by any means!
You didn’t name him, but this is an important question to ask your intended surgeon - how many people are currently suing him? If he says none (unless very new to OE) he’s lying! And I advise you record the conversation!
Feel free to tell me his name and I will back up what I say with the numbers I personally know of.
Btw, would you really expect to have a phone consultation with a surgeon before undergoing any other operation, because I certainly wouldn’t!
Whenever I've had an operation I met with the surgeon in person, who explained the procedure to me and detailed all the risks.
I have no doubt that you paid a substantial deposit and this 'consultation' is more than 7 days since doing so. If you now cancel OE will refuse to refund your money by quoting their 7 days cooling off refund policy - they cannot do this if you did not see the surgeon prior to paying your deposit!
If this happens do contact me and I'll be happy to help you
So later today I have my phone consultation with my surgeon before surgery next Friday (3rd) at the Newcastle city branch.
After reading this website, the stories, the form posts, I'm slightly worried.
I feel a great deal of sympathy for everyone but has anyone had a good experience???
I know people at work who have had it done with no complaints but from reading all about dry eyes and halo effects it's creeping me out.
Any advice/thoughts appreciated
On 'The Wright Stuff' tv show today, panel guest Tamer Hassan read a newspaper item & immediately said "sorry about the glasses" when he'd finished reading. Why is it necessary to apologise for wearing glasses?