Tweedles claims that he can diagnose the following:
•High blood pressure
It has to be said that my own blood pressure must have shot up when I read the article!
Such a shame that OE surgeons - never mind the optoms - can't diagnose pre existing eye problems before they perform laser and lens replacement surgery!
I left my comment...
Let's see how long before it's removed!
I then contacted the Daily Express and spoke with Felicity Thistlethwaite, the online Lifestyle Editor.
I expressed [sic] my horror that they would publish this article, and asked if it was a paid advertorial.
She asked why, and I explained...
I told her that I have hundreds of letters from Tweedledum to my clients, stating that OE will not provide aftercare beyond 12 months post op (regardless of any problems caused by surgery, even a detached retina), recommending that they should go to the NHS for help!
Her voice turned chilly and she asked me to put my complaint in writing, that she would answer all my questions after she'd run it past their lawyers!
Talking of newspaper lawyers, I think it's time for the next instalment of NMMNG
The long awaited story of OE's settlement with Associated Newspapers Ltd (re Daily Mail) is a perfect example of why newspapers can't be trusted to publish truths!
Just like this industry, it's all about ££££££ for the press - the cost to people's lives irrelevant!
NB: If you leave a comment under the Express article, please post it here too - because chances are they'll remove negative comments and close the conversation!
Introducing Dr Hilary Jones, star of Optical Express' patient consent video
On 26 February 2017, I wrote to Hilary:
'I am very concerned to hear that you recently recorded the new 'informed consent video' for Optical Express. [replacing Dr Steven Schallhorn following his defection to Zeiss]
Firstly, is this ethical given that your surgery was performed by Reinstein?
Secondly, have you not read the many press reports about Optical Express, and countless horror stories on OERML website forum? All true and just the tip of the iceberg!
Are you aware that Optical Express now refuse aftercare to damaged patients after 12 months - not even providing badly needed eye drops?
Are you aware that it is costing the NHS £millions to provide aftercare and reparative operations (when possible) to many thousands of people damaged by Optical Express? As a practising GP (according to Wikipedia) surely this must be of concern to you.
You say on your website, "I’ve always believed people should discover and learn as much as they possibly can about themselves and about their conditions. But, it’s vital that the information is reliable and accurate".
Your informed consent video for OE most definitely does not provide reliable and accurate facts!'
There was more, but the doctor chose not to reply.
It should be noted that in previous years, when I'd challenged Hilary on other eye issues, he had always responded.
The next day I wrote to his manager, Kim Chapman:
'1. Does Hilary believe that he is behaving ethically by providing Optical Express with services that will help persuade people to undergo refractive eye surgery with this corrupt and unregulated company?
2. Given that he cannot now deny knowledge of the fact that many thousands of people have been damaged by Optical Express, and that there are hundreds of legal claims in progress against the company and the majority of their surgeons (others settled out of court), is he still prepared to allow them to use what is unarguably his seal of approval?'
Kim didn't reply either!
On 18 July 2017, I wrote:
I am concerned to hear you claim, "I don't endorse many products…” when it is patently and blatantly untrue.
That aside, would you recommend Optical Express should supply this product to their many thousands of patients left with DES, blepharitis, MGD, etc… ??
Also, did you have DES pre or post surgery, and do you still suffer?
Finally, why has your video advertising your surgery with LVC/Dan Reinstein been entirely removed from the internet?
I look forward to your earliest response.
Sasha Rodoy|My Beautiful Eyes Foundation
Patient Advocate & Campaign Manager'
On Tuesday I woke with severe pain and blurred vision in my right eye
Although the pain had dulled a little by Wednesday I was worried that it might be another BRVO, so I called Moorfields and asked if they could bring my October appt forward, but they advised it would be better for me to attend A&E.
Way too busy for that... until yesterday morning, when making breakfast with one eye closed I imagined how it would be if this caused me to lose my sight.
So off I went...
After the usual battery of eye tests I finally met with the specialist, Francesco Matarazzo - wearing glasses.
It was the first time we'd met, and he told me he might consider laser surgery in the future - but when he saw I wasn't in the least bit amused he quickly reassured me that he was joking!
Although obviously relieved to be told that I hadn't had another occlusion, I was shocked when Francesco told me the pain was caused by number of corneal erosions on my right eye, a result of Dry Eye Disease, which gets worse when you sleep because there's no lubrication.
The ‘good’ news is that they're not recurrent erosions, but I've lost count of the side effects and problems I suffer and worry what's next?
While the government continue to ignore this scandal, and deny that there is a major problem with this unregulated industry, I also wonder how much my visits to Moorfields have cost the NHS so far this year!
When I first arrived at the emergency dept I'd sat down next to a man wearing dark glasses, who then pointed at my OERML Tshirt and asked what it was about.
I gave him a brief summary, and he told me he'd had laser surgery six months ago, at Optical Express!
In his early thirties, he'd suffered a sudden onset of severe light sensitivity, and my immediate presumption was that it was likely to be photophobia.
Happily I was wrong as he was diagnosed with an ocular migraine, but he took my card and said he'd check out OERML.
And today, on my way back home from a meeting near Harley Street, I had to walk past the Optical Express clinic. As I did so a woman wearing glasses passed me, and gut instinct made me turn around - sure enough she stopped outside OE, obviously checking she had the right address.
I caught up with her, and when she confirmed that she was indeed going to OE, I explained what I do, about OERML, and the thousands of damaged patients I represent. She was very concerned and took my card.
I told her that if she mentioned to OE staff that she’d just met me they would do their best to convince her to ignore anything I'd said, so I recommended that she google OERML and make up her own mind.
She told me it’d taken her a long time to get to the consultation stage (with optom and sales person that is), but armed with the info I gave her, and further research, I trust she will decide its not a good idea!
I also advised her that once inside their doors she would be heavily pressured to pay a deposit, which she absolutely should not do!
If you’re reading this - and I so hope you are - sore, red, itchy eyes for the rest of your life are not as attractive as the pretty pink specs you were wearing!
PROJECT EYE DISEASE PATIENTS
Online open to the whole of the UK
Age Group 21-80
We are looking for people who have been diagnosed with Dry Eye Disease, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and/or Blepharitis for this online project
This will be an online questionnaire which should take you around 40 minutes to complete
The link to this will be available from w/c 11th September
Please pass on to friends and family who may qualify to take part
If you were not born in the UK how long have you been living here?
1. Which of the following medical issues have you been diagnosed with?
a. Dry eye disease
b. Melbomian gland dysfunction
d. Rosacea/Ocular rosacea
e. Sjogren’s Syndrome
f. Other, please specify
2. How long ago were you diagnosed with.......
Dry Eye Disease
Melbomian gland dysfunction
3. How would you rate your Dry Eye Disease/ Melbomian gland dysfunction/ Blepharitis?
4. How long ago was your last eye exam by an eye doctor for your eye disease as listed above?
5. Please let us know if any of the following apply to you:-
a. I wear contact lenses on a regular basis
b. I have had a punctual occlusion procedure in the past 60 days
c. I have had either cataract surgery or laser eye surgery for refractive errors (near sightedness, far sightedness, astigmatism)
d. I have had an eye injury
e. I have experienced a change in systemic medication in the past 30 days
f. None of the above
6. What medical procedures have you done/routinely do or what medication are you currently using for your eye condition?
Procedures and Medication:-
7. What class of medication e.g. artificial tears, steroids, anti-inflammatories or type of medical procedures are you currently using for your Dry Eye Disease/ Melbomian gland dysfunction/ Blepharitis eye condition ?
Class of medication:-
8. All applications will be passed on to our client who will go through a short questionnaire with you if you fit the criteria they are looking for. Do we have your permission to pass on your application?
Lasik eye surgery - Any advice!!
30 Aug 2017 04:07 #95
Hi!! A few months back, I was not able to look at the sky or see distant objects without seeing floaters. I was worried about the situation. I thought this may lead to complete vision loss. I’m just 24 years old and this was something I could not accept. I researched a lot and saw that this is a common problem and will get used to it.
I was not happy with the result so I consulted a laser eye surgeon in my locality to know if I could get rid of this floaters. The surgeon Dr Sheldon suggested getting lasik eye surgery asap. He said that even after the surgery, I will experience flashes in my eyes but it will go after few weeks. I told him that I’m worried about the surgery and he assured me not to worry as the procedure is not very complicated. I’m scheduled for the surgery on 8th Sept from a clinic in Toronto. Has anyone here had a similar situation? Can I completely get rid of floaters? As the date is so near, I feel jittery. Any advice is highly appreciated. Thanks!!
________________ admin: Firstly 'Helen', if a person is seeing floaters they would be visible wherever you looked. And secondly, I've never heard of lasik getting rid of floaters - to the contrary!
Dr Sheldon Herzig in Toronto, you must be desperate for victims to try and advertise on my forum, but as you can see I've removed your hyperlink!
As I've previously mentioned, last month I had surgery at an NHS hospital...
From start to finish, my options were explained to me by the consultant surgeon, my options were explained to me by the consultant surgeon, not a nurse, or even one of the registrars.
And not in a shopping mall or on the high street, where invasive and risky surgery is sold like a used car or new hair style - in fact I've seen hairdressers give more info about a change of hair colour to their clients than do high street surgeons to their patients.
Having been first examined by the consultant before he considered offering me surgery, I then underwent extensive tests, which included ECG, bloods etc… to make sure I was healthy enough to undergo an anaesthetic.
On the morning of the operation I was visited by my consultant, who personally went through the consent form with me, point by point, ensuring that I fully understood the risks, describing each possible complication - with honest statistics!
Not a lot of choice unless I wanted to spend the rest of my life in pain, with restricted use of my arm, but should any of the risks have occurred I could not say that I was not informed pre surgery.
Then the anaesthetist also visited me and similarly discussed risks with me.
I was fully informed
Happily all went well... and post op both the anaesthetist and consultant visited me to explain what had been done.
In my opinion, other than the general anaesthetic, refractive eye surgery is far more serious than the procedure I had.
And just In case my consultant or his colleagues are reading this, I do not mean that an ophthalmologist is better skilled, but to lose my eyesight would be of more concern to me than living with pain or limited use of a limb!
Given that the informed consent for general surgery is so extensive, and verbally detailed by the operating surgeon in person, then why should it be any less stringent for eye surgery?
And the idea that my surgeon would even consider engaging in a pre surgery consultation via phone or Skype is simply horrifying!
Yet this is what OE and other providers are doing, with no objection from the GMC, CQC, RCOphth, organisations the government claim are improving/regulating this industry!
No matter what their skills, all UK surgeons are members of the Royal College of Surgeons, governed by the same standards/guidelines.
Following my surgery I attended my consultant's outpatient clinic, seen by his registrar - not a nurse or receptionist.
And although I will be discharged after 3 months, should there be any problems in the future then my GP will refer me back to the consultant - without time limitation.
Earlier this year some of you may remember that I suffered a Branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO), described in layman terms as a heart attack in the eye. (Details posted 8 February.)
Moorfields asked my GP to refer me to NHS specialists for numerous medical checks (cardiac etc…), after which I was back to Moorfields in March for a battery of eye tests with a retinal specialist.
I was put on medication and warned that the cause of the BRVO was likely due to my stress levels, that I need to stay calm to keep my blood pressure down.
I tried, but with my blood pressure competing with Lewis Hamilton for acceleration speed when I get angry, it’s a real challenge!
At my last Moorfields consult in May I thought I was doing fine, blockage not gone, but no more occlusions.
I was therefore totally shocked when the scans at today’s consult showed I'd had another occlusion - bigger than the last one!
Scary thing is that I had no idea it’d happened, whereas the first one arrived with a big sludgy floater and flashing lights!
The lovely retinal consultant, whose name I forgot to note down, again warned me that this is a result of stress and that I must take it seriously - easier said than done.
Playing to my weakness, she added that I won’t be in a fit state to help anyone otherwise.
Point taken, but here I am, back in my office, snowed under with work, and who will do it if not me? Certainly not the GMC or CQC, and as for the RCOphth, more to come about where their allegiance lies very soon!
24 July 2017, I underwent shoulder repair surgery that resulted from a fall at Glastonbury Festival in 2015, when I also cracked a number of ribs. I fell because I was unable to see in low light and tripped on the uneven ground - and I can assure you that crawling in and out of a tent with cracked ribs is no fun at all! (I had to wait for this op because of a more urgently needed procedure in 2016 - not eye related.)
Also, three weeks ago I was in pain with two blocked meibomian glands full of pus, and if not for my dry eye specialist providing me with (v painful) debridement treatment (£120 + antibiotics) then I'd have had to turn to the NHS for this too!
I am not telling you this for your sympathy, but to point out how much treatment I am having at cost to the NHS, to treat problems entirely caused by laser eye surgery provided by a negligent private company allowed to operate without government regulation.
And I am one of untold thousands, many who need far more extensive and expensive treatment than I do!
A bilateral lens explant costs approx £11,000 privately, and in January this year I wrote to Moorfields MD, Declan Flanagan, who promised to find out the cost to the NHS.
On 6 February, in reply to my chaser email, he wrote, 'I am still trying to pin down the cost for you.'
Still waiting, so last week Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell also wrote to Declan, asked him to provide these details in time for our meeting on 27 July.
As yet John has had no reply
No wonder the NHS is in crisis if Moorfields’ MD is unable to lay his hands on this info within 6 months!
Also odd that Declan stopped replying to my subsequent phone calls and emails, because at approx 6.00am on 3 August he replied to an email I'd sent less than eight hrs earlier, copied to John.
Perhaps because the subject discussed is likely to be highly embarrassing for Moorfields, and a matter that the government will HAVE to investigate.
Watch this space!
And while the government continue to pretend there is no problem with this unregulated industry, totally supportive of corrupt businessmen - writing off 10s x £1,000000 in unpaid tax - and although they don’t give a flying f*ck about anyone’s eyes being damaged, ignoring the fact that people are being blinded (I have new evidence that will be disclosed in due course), when they finally stop avoiding meeting with me, then they will be forced to address the issue of the huge financial cost to the NHS as a result of this massive scandal - whether they want to or not!
And that people, is the answer to why three successive health ministers have postponed/cancelled a number of scheduled meetings with me since April 2014 - not forgetting Jeremy Hunt, who is simply not fit for purpose, sending letters telling people that the CQC/GMC/RCO have everything under control!
Thanks to the OE v Daily Mail £21.5 million legal claim scaring off the press, it’s been a while!
That’s over now - and my next instalment of NMMNG will explain why the 12 June trial was cancelled, detailing all I know about OE's financial settlement with Associated Newspapers Ltd.
Meanwhile, a little amuse bouche for you while the clock ticks...
In late 2014, OE’s very own Wee Shugster (Hugh Kerr) flew to Dublin, where approximately forty OE employees had been summoned from all corners of Ireland to meet with him.
After being fed sandwiches and beverages, the team were ordered to type ‘Optical Express’ into search engines (via their phones/iPads) - repeatedly for two hours!!
The aim was to push OERML down Google's rankings, because at that time the link was listed immediately under OE’s own, on the very first page when you googled 'Optical Express’.
But the joke was on the Wee Shugster, because apparently few employees in Ireland were aware of OERML at that time, whereas I’m assured that now most of OE’s work force are avid fans, but unable to like/comment on my Facebook pages for obvious reasons!
PS: This forum allows aliases if any OE employees want to speak out anonymously - or email me with any info you think might help me!
"Optical Express SVP is a type of franchise, although we do not ask you to pay an upfront licensing fee, nor do we limit you to a short-term lease. Franchises in the UK have very low failures rates. In 2006, 93% of franchisees reported a profit – and these are overall figures, not just those for big brands and key players.”
Curious that OE quote statistics from a 2006 BFA franchise survey, what about something more recent?
"Moulsdale, who opened a Specsavers franchise in Livingston in 1990*before launching Optical Express a year later, said the key ingredients for joint venture partnership success were 'having owners and managers in place at a local level driving the sales performance of a store'. He said franchisees tended to be 'more commercially focused’**with a keen interest in building long-term relationships with patients.***"
*Interesting, because in 2014 I was corresponding with Specsavers owner Mary Perkins, concerning details (yet to be published) of an alleged financial deal between Specsavers and Optegra, while some of their locum optoms were also working at Optimax and taking commission for referring Specsavers customers for surgery consults - one of whom became an MBE client in June 2013 and ended up in litigation. **And if franchisees are even 'more commercially focused' than OE themselves, then what hope for customers (not considered patients in business model)! ***And of course the ‘long term relationship’ no doubt refers to the unarguable fact that so many of their customers have to keep returning to OE when left with irreparable post op problems - perhaps why OE have recently refused to provide aftercare beyond 12 months, to make an investment more palatable for potential franchisees!
Points to consider:
• As when you sell a house, is it similarly required that OE fully disclose details of problems/complaints/legal claims (incl past present and pending) to intended franchisee?
• Who will be Defendant in future claims by damaged OE customers, franchisee or OE?
• Will OE tell franchisees about OERML? Although any potential investor would have to be brainless or blind if they hadn’t already found details when googling "Optical Express"!
As I've mentioned, the lowlife employee who offered me info in exchange for payment (presumably now ex-employee) told me that OE's marketing team do nothing more than post spam on social media sites.
This likelihood is supported by the content on the LinkedIn page for Jack Maddix, one of Steven Taylor’s Manchester based marketing team, with Jack's listed experience including, ”Digital/Social - Social media management: strategy & content Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram CRM: email/SMS”
I initially contacted the ASA on 13 June 2017, pointing out that Jack Maddix is one of OE’s marketing team...
17 July: ASA Complaints Executive Sophie Marchant replied,
'On receiving your complaint, we contacted Optical Express for more information. They confirmed that, though Jack Maddix is a current Optical Express employee, he had eye surgery with Optical Express six years ago (funded by himself) and it is coincidental that he then decided to work for Optical Express. The advertiser confirmed that none of the other participants are or ever have been employees of Optical Express, and received no other payment other than nominal travel expenses. Therefore, as we consider that all stories are genuine and are not likely to mislead people, we will not be taking further action on this case.'
I immediately phoned Sophie to explain why I disagreed with the ASA decision.
Yesterday I received this response from Sophie,
'As discussed on our telephone call earlier this month, after speaking to yourself and my colleagues, I considered that the webpage did need to make clear that Jack Maddix was an Optical Express employee. I can see from the “Patient Stories” webpage that Optical Express have now updated this and made his position sufficiently clear.'