Ophthalmic Consultants of London 24 May 2020 18:41 #21
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.
"And I must stress again all of this is conditional, it all depends on a series of big ifs.”'
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.
AfPP core values = ££ 04 May 2020 18:54 #22
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
Page 38 of the AfPP financial statement for 'Year ended 31 March 2019' shows that 'key management personnel received remuneration of £78,743.'
That will of course be CEO Miss Stott's wages!
Can't wait to see the next financial statement (due August latest) which will (or should!) include all income received by the organisation in return for spurious accreditation awards.
This at least is true, 'We are a commercial organisation'!
Dawn Stott The Association for Perioperative Practice 29 Apr 2020 19:41 #23
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!
ASA decision 10 Apr 2020 14:16 #24
Post 03 Mar 2020 18:56
Every little bit helps
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!
Read Dan Weaver 's post for more on this:
*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.
David Moulsdale & Russell Ambrose 01 Apr 2020 16:44 #25
(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.
'At Optical Express our first priority is the safety of our patients and employees.’
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!
'However, up to 3% of patients experience eye infections as a result of contracting COVID-19.'
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!
General Chat - open to all! 27 Mar 2020 18:18 #26
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!
General Chat - open to all! 23 Mar 2020 19:25 #27
Contrary to advice published by College of Optometrists (and simple common sense + regard for life) Optimax/Ultralase and Optical Express stores remain open, providing close up eye tests to sell non essential refractive surgery as of five minutes ago
Beyond comprehension that psychopathic 'practice owners' David Moulsdale & Russell Ambrose are putting people's lives at risk in this way - stockpiling customers while personally staying away from their stores!
UPDATE @ 5pm: Optical Express are closing the Westfield London store for three months - and hopefully all other stores, yet to be confirmed.
Optimax and Ultralase however are still taking bookings for consultations this week.
General Chat - open to all! 22 Mar 2020 18:38 #28
(2 of 3)
It is of national interest that people stay at home to reduce spread of this deadly virus during what is a very scary and unprecedented surreal time, and I hope that you will therefore understand enough about the Coronavirus crisis to appreciate why everyone should be concerned about the following information
Risking unnecessary travel for a non-urgent reason like refractive eye surgery is irresponsible, dangerous, no different from going to a bar or restaurant, having contact with people who may already be unknowingly infected, as even you might be.
Expressing interest in laser surgery, ‘David’ in Gloucester contacted Optical Express via their online chat on Friday, and was immediately offered a next day appointment in Cheltenham.
Asked if staff would be wearing masks or gloves, Paul C displayed complete ignorance by claiming that staff at assessments have on, ’usual surgical wear’.
Fact: an OE surgeon might wear scrubs at a (rare) pre op consult in person - and only if the customer has already been relieved of a hefty deposit that s/he’s unlikely to get back should they cancel (unless they find OERML) - but optoms and patient advisers (sales people) at ‘assessments’ wear their own clothes.
(Even Tesco have belatedly supplied staff with latex gloves and masks!)
And Optimax/Ultralase no better, because when I called yesterday, asking if they’re still doing consults and operations, the reply was, ‘We are, yes!’
Optegra’s lines were closed, normally open on a Saturday, and I understand they are only treating emergencies.
Three more MBEF campaigners contacted OE, via phone and online chat, each assured that consults were readily available and operations continuing until further notice.
I then called OE myself, and was told that ALL London stores (bar Monument) were open, and that the Westfield store would be open for consults today, as would Shaftesbury Avenue for aftercare appointments only.
To be certain, earlier today I called OE Westfield store, and was offered a 10.00am consult tomorrow, with earliest operating slot available on 1 April - of course only if I’m suitable!!
NB: For those who don't know, Westfield is a MASSIVE shopping mall, and there will still be plenty of irresponsible people shopping tomorrow, as I'm told there were today.
Later I called Shaftesbury Avenue, redirected to OE’s call centre in Scotland who told me the store had closed at 2pm.
‘Oh' I said, and asked if it was possible to book a consultation as soon as tomorrow. ‘Yes', at 11am.
Trying not to sound too knowledgeable, I asked, ‘If I decided to have it could I still get an operation, or are you not operating?’
I was told operations are going ahead as normal, and I could put a deposit down tomorrow if I wanted to go ahead and have surgery. (Recorded)
Asking how much deposit I was told £500. And if I changed my mind? If within three days of payment I could get that refunded. (Not wanting to go off topic here, but it should be noted that the chance of seeing or speaking with a surgeon within three day of payment is unheard of!)
I said I'd think about it, but wish I'd booked the slot and saved someone else!
Optical Express claim to be following public health advice, yet Moorfields (NHS & Private) cancelled ALL non-urgent appointments, now treating only emergencies.
'March 18, 2020 – The American Academy of Ophthalmology has released recommendations regarding urgent and nonurgent patient care. According to the statement, all ophthalmologists should cease providing any treatment other than urgent or emergent care immediately. This includes both office-based care and surgical care.'
'Ophthalmology is not currently on the national list for high risk aerosol generating procedures or care BUT staff are concerned that there may be an increased risk because of the prolonged close contact on the slit lamp.’
Optoms also use a slit lamp to examine patients, which means they’re up close and sharing breath!
And shockingly a little birdie told me yesterday that some of the staff in his store (one of the bigger ones) were seen shaking hands with people walking in off the street!
Megalomaniac David Moulsdale (and any refractive surgery provider behaving equally unethically) is criminally risking the lives of patients and staff (and their families) with his greed.
To all OE front line staff reading: you should be questioning your positions, because the company has no concern for you or your health, only to push you to pressure as many people as possible to leave a deposit (the bigger the better!) before you're forced to close.
And do not be surprised if you lose your jobs, because a high flying little birdie told me last week that a number of your colleagues across the country have already been ‘let go’ without any warning, and more of you on the list. In which case, don't expect to get the recent extra bonuses you’ve been promised for grabbing deposits to secure bookings whilst putting your health at risk!
With good reason for this, I have for many months considered it likely that David Moulsdale is planning to put OE into administration later this year (read 1 January 2020 post), but now wonder if he will use the Coronavirus crisis as an excuse to do so earlier, slipping under the radar to avoid guaranteed media attention that would ensue otherwise.
But of course I could be totally wrong, and this corrupt company will continue to take every opportunity to risk damaging people’s eyes further into 2020…
General Chat - open to all! 21 Mar 2020 19:19 #29
(1 of 3)
Fao David Moulsdale and Russell Ambrose - owners of Optical Express, Optimax and Ultralase respectively - and any other psychopaths trying to steal as much money as possible in deposits from trusting people before the government force them to close, because they are so amoral they won't do so of their own volition
I recently spoke with a Moorfields consultant (not a refractive surgeon), who told me that he and his colleagues are at high risk of dying, given their close proximity when examining patients, more so because of the volume of patients they’re in contact with.
Vividly echoed by Dr Jack to LBC!
Moorfields Eye Hospital and Moorfields Private Eye Hospital published this info on Thursday evening...
'In response to the current coronavirus situation, we are deferring all non-urgent treatment from Monday 23 March. This is being done on the basis of clinical need; our doctors and nurses are reviewing each person’s requirements individually. We are doing this to minimise the number of people having to travel to a clinic, as well as ensuring we are using NHS staff and resources wisely.’
'Until further notice, we are unable to book new patient appointments.’
Less than two hours ago I personally called Optical Express, Optimax, and Ultralase, all who advised they are open for business next week, offering consults and surgery!
18 March at 15:33 ·
We understand that this is an uncertain time for many, but rest assured we are open for business as usual and are still carrying out treatments and appointments in our clinics.'*
Yet parent company Optimax posted,
'Your eyes are lined by mucous membranes, a thick protective fluid. Primarily, this membrane is to stop dirt and grit from entering your body through the eyes, as well as ensuring that your eyes stay well hydrated. However, with COVID-19, this mucous membrane becomes an easy point of access for the virus to enter your body. Further to this, the virus can also spread through your tears.'
*Source lost, so possibly deleted in the last hour since I found it.
The Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP) 03 Mar 2020 18:56 #30
(4 of 4)
Either the AfPP did not exercise ANY due diligence, or they were only concerned with the money they're getting from Optical Express in return for accreditation
'Optical Express contacted AfPP after becoming interested in their new audit tool, to discuss the development of an additional ophthalmology section that would ensure they are meeting both the perioperative standards and the ophthalmology industry standards, initially within their Bristol and Glasgow sites.’
And as I know Miss Stott and her colleagues will have waited with bated breath for this post, I will explain exactly why OE wanted #AfPP accreditation, because it certainly wasn’t to improve their services!
'Quality and governance bodies
As the UK's number one provider of laser eye surgery, our commitment to patient care is backed up by our membership of a number of industry governing bodies.'
It is common knowledge that Optical Express DO NOT follow ophthalmology industry standards, namely the Professional Standards for Refractive Surgery published by the The Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
CEO David Moulsdale has utter contempt for the College (one of the few opinions we share), having refused to follow their guidelines (unenforceable), and funding fellow cowboys at Optical Confederation to publish the ‘Multidisciplinary Standards’: written by OE’s own clinicians (and Tweedledum).
• The Optical Confederation: 'Our clinicians and clinics follow the OC Multidisciplinary Standards for Refractive Surgery.’ Not recognised by any organisation but themselves. Fact, and I have it in writing from the GMC, GOC, and RCOphth.
• The Royal College of Ophthalmologists: 'Many of our surgeons are members of the RCO’ - but not all!
Moulsdale stuck his finger up at the College by insulting them with the acronym for the Royal College of Organists.
• International Medical Advisory Board: IMAB, owned by Optical Express, its members paid annually for their names (previously discussed).
• General Medical Council (GMC): No person can LEGALLY operate without being a GMC registrant, so if they were’ all registered I would worry! But I do question the wording ‘approved by’!
• General Optical Council: Similarly, all practising optometrists must be registered with the GOC, and whilst OE is indeed a business registrant, I definitely dispute their claim that they 'adhere to their strict standards of treatment and care.’ They do not.
• 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.
NB: The RCOphth, IMAB, and OC are NOT ‘governing bodies’!
And to spell it out, the reason OE paid the AfPP for accreditation of two clinics, with 6 more to come, is to publish the logo on their page, and frame it on their operating clinic walls, where trusting customers will be impressed by what appears to be accreditation of value.
I would draw Miss Stott's attention back to my email of 27 February, when I wrote, 'shame on you and your spurious association' - for playing along with this farce and colluding with a company that continues to regularly and irreparably damage people’s eyes and ruin so many lives!
And I had to laugh at the irony in this video, where two minutes in Dawn Stott says the AfPP want 'to encourage a zero harm approach to patient care.'