General Chat - open to all! 23 Mar 2020 19:25 #21
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 #22
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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 #23
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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 #24
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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.'
General Chat - open to all! 03 Mar 2020 15:52 #25
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'CEO of the [AfPP] Dawn Stott said: “This is outside of our usual area of practice...'
And exactly why they should have stayed inside
Because assuming they had no idea of OE's history - and at the risk of receiving another threatening letter from Hempson lawyer Richard Nolan - had the AfPP employed due diligence before greedily grabbing the money OE waved at them, then no-one here would ever have heard of the association, and their reputation would not now be under fire.
Lie down with dogs...
'The Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP) has broken into new territory after being appointed by a leading ophthalmology company to deliver a specialist audit accreditation programme across eight of their surgical suites.
The news comes just weeks after the release of the new AfPP Audit Tool, 2019 Edition – a robust tool that assists both private sector and NHS theatre practitioners in creating a safer perioperative environment.
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.
Optical Express is a leading refractive surgery specialist and the number one provider of laser eye surgery in Europe.
Through a complete review of these services, AfPP will use the audit to identify and implement effective risk management strategies that ensure patient safety during each of these surgical procedures.
Lindsay Keeley, patient safety and quality lead at AfPP said: “The clinical audit at both Optical Express’ Bristol and Glasgow clinics will include specialised guidance in addition to the AfPP audit tool 2019.
“This will support good practice and identify if any areas need change in order for accreditation to be granted.
“Clinical audit is an intrinsic cycle to improve patient care and outcomes. It works by measuring existing best practice against what is really occurring, and then reassessing and implementing change to improve patient safety and standards.”
As the UK’s leading membership organisation for operating theatre practitioners who put patient safety at the heart of all they do, AfPP are educated in current policies and processes that allow them to invest in the safety of all patients across many sectors.
Breaking into the ophthalmology industry highlights that the gap in the patient safety market is one that AfPP can fill.
CEO of the Association Dawn Stott said: “This is outside of our usual area of practice, however, we believe that all surgical settings that are regulated by the Care Quality Commission , are places that should meet AfPP’s standards and recommendations for safe perioperative practice.”
As a recognised market leader for refractive surgery and the UK’s only complete eye care provider, Optical Express has a duty to ensure that patients have positive surgical experiences and that their clinics remain centres of excellence.
Thanks to the AfPP audit and accreditation programme, patients will benefit from the security of knowing the surgical suites have been tested and certified by a third party, and that the team is behaving ethically,** employing suitable quality assurances at all times.'
* To be discussed in Pt 4
The Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP) 03 Mar 2020 00:23 #26
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By sheer coincidence, within ten minutes of my call to Richard Nolan, Ms A forwarded a copy of the email she had just sent to Dawn Stott at the AfPP
I am contacting you in regards to your recent accreditation of two Optical Express sites. I understand that you endorse safer surgery and good evidence based safe practice. However, I think that your accreditation methods are flawed if you have given this status to Optical Express, as if you had looked into their practice you would find a lot of unhappy and injured patients who were deceived by this company just to part them of their money. I am one of those patients.
My name is [redacted] and I am 47 years old (45 at the time of surgery* ). For the past 20 years I worked as an operational Paramedic for the Scottish Ambulance Service and I decided to get eye surgery to help me perform my job better as I needed glasses to read which made tasks such as intubation and CPR difficult.
I was informed by Optical Express my prescription and my eyes made laser surgery not viable therefore I was offered lens replacement surgery at a much higher price than the aforementioned laser surgery. I initally refused as I don't have that kind of money, so Optical Express sent me emails offering a reduced price but within a timed limit.
This practice should not be used in medical practice and this is stated within the GMC code of conduct which I was not privy to at this time. I was assured by staff that the risk of any side effects or complications was <1% which again I have since found out is a lie. Reassured by staff with these false stats, my father gave me an early inheritance to undergo this surgery.
Within 24 hours of my surgery my eyes were very sensitive to the light and I had severe starbursts, haloes and glares which left me unable to drive at night.
Optical Express again lied to me detailing that my eyes would adapt but eventually after months passed, I realised this company had been lying to me and my eyes have never recovered.
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.
Therefore in conclusion, I would ask you to review your accreditation techniques and remove Optical Express accreditation by looking into their performance record and see that they have poor practices and little patient care with multiple pending legal suits currently against them which I would hope would eliminate them from your accreditation.'
* Way too young for lens exchange surgery!
Paramedic Deborah Dugdale was hopefully luckier than Ms A after winning free laser eye surgery with OE's Thanks A Million Campaign, which was in fact a marketing scam to generate business - with a photo on Instagram of Tweedledum's first cousin Laura Newman fraudulently passed off as one of the winners! (posted 29 May 2018)
And I find it somewhat odd that there are so many faceless people on the Thanks A Million winners page, especially given that one of the conditions of entering was that people had to agree to allow their names and photos to be used for marketing purposes.
I trust that Dawn Stott will now ‘reflect’ on her own conduct and actions, with yet more to come about the AfPP and Optical Express...
The Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP) 02 Mar 2020 19:05 #27
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I would not have bothered mentioning the AfPP again, but they've brought it on themselves, not least because I don’t respond kindly to bullying and threats, but there is also more to this story
On 27 February, within hours of posting 'Update' - scroll back’ - late in the afternoon I received an email from Richard Nolan, partner at Hempsons law firm, 'STRICTLY FOR THE ATTENTION OF MS RODOY ONLY.’
Attached was a threatening letter, marked 'BY EMAIL ONLY STRICTLY PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIAL' - which anyone wanting a copy can ask me for, because I am not a lawyer, not regulated by the SRA, and will share whatever I want with whomever I choose!
NB: I haven’t removed any ‘offending content’ mentioned in point 1, and must assume the AfPP have done so, but they’ll need to go further than that to protect their reputation, by withdrawing accreditation of Optical Express.
• '2. This is not a letter of claim sent in accordance with the Pre-action Protocol for Media and Communications Claims (Pre-action Protocol).'
I laughed at this, because I’m used to lawyers thinking they can scare me off with legalese usually covering 8 to 9 pages, whilst this was poorly written and disappointingly only 3 and a bit pages.
• '4. Our client takes exception to what it considers to be the unacceptably aggressive, confrontational and condescending nature, tone and content of your telephone conversation with its Chief Executive which took place on 14 February 2020. We are instructed that you did not conduct yourself professionally and instead sought to make matters personal and about the individual rather than the organisation.'
This was an outright lie, because I had no reason whatsoever to ‘make matters personal’, and conducted myself entirely professionally. I was very calm, simply asked Miss Stott to do further research, to ask the GMC and GOC about complaints made about Optical Express staff, that I could introduce her to a number of law firms representing OE damaged clients - and if she doubted what I told her, to ask herself why no-one has sued me if anything I say/publish is untrue. (Not least Optical Express!)
• '5. Given your apparent ignorance of what accreditation of operating theatres involves, to publish in an email that you have copied to others that the Chief Executive of the AfPP was 'less than honest' is legally actionable. It is a statement in which you can demonstrably have held no honest belief and your ignorance of such matters cannot excuse such statement. AfPP is paid by prospective members for conducting robust accreditation processes, not for advertising. The legal position of AfPP and its Chief Executive personally is entirely reserved, and should you persist in making and publishing such content you may rest assured that legal action will ensue.'
• '12. In the circumstances we do not propose to address in detail the objectionable and offending social media content which you have published which continue along much the same vein and which are based largely on ignorance, whether knowing or wilful, and misconceptions. We note with interest your rather bold assertion to the effect that one contemplating seeking redress against you in defamation would do well to question why "no-one has sued me for libel."*
You would do well to reflect on why you seem intent on testing the limits on what you consider you can get away with and whether you may have crossed the line in statements that you have made and published about our client, an organisation which has been established since 1964 and which sets the standards for safe practice within the perioperative environment, and its Chief Executive.'
* Deliberate misinterpretation of my words to Dawn Stott.
Richard repeatedly referred to my 'ignorance' throughout his letter, twice suggesting that I 'would do well to reflect’ on my conduct and actions, as if addressing a child.
Not bothering to waste my time replying via email, I phoned Richard, who no doubt expected me to be humble and aplogetic, consumed with fear at the thought that someone was threatening me with legal action, so probably quite taken aback when I told him that (1) his client had not been honest (she seemingly oblivious to the fact that I often record phone conversations), (2) that he should tell his client I had no intention of agreeing to her listed requirements in point 14, (3) she should therefore go ahead with legal proceedings and I looked forward to hearing from him when she did.
He replied that he would tell his client.
To be cont'd...
Johnson & Johnson Vision Care 29 Feb 2020 16:49 #28
A brief background to explain why I describe this corrupt global industry as ‘incestuous’
Many of you will be unaware of the links that bond the biggest stakeholders, and why it is laughable to consider for a nanosecond that the FDA would do anything but provide Johnson & Johnson Vision Care with 'approval for a new laser eye surgery indication for its iDesign Refractive Studio system.'
‘MAUDE’, Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience, is the the FDA platform for reporting issues with devices, and it would be fair to question why the FDA continue to ignore numerous complaints from patients damaged by the medical devices they continue to approve.*
Steve Schallhorn was Global Medical Director at Optical Express for a number of years - some of you will remember when he had the pleasure of meeting me in a lift at the Royal College of Surgeons in 2015, accompanied by Moulsdale and Tweedledum (story posted 10 March 2015).
In October 2016 Schallhorn moved to ZEISS Group as Chief Medical Director, yet surprisingly remains as IMAB Chairman at Optical Express.
Having said that, IMAB members are paid a chunk of money to put their names to this spurious board, so perhaps not surprising, with free jaunts to boot - one year it was the Cayman Islands, where a little birdie told me David Moulsdale (allegedly) holds two bank accounts, with a Cayman Islander on his payroll.
'Professor Schallhorn has served as a clinical investigator on numerous Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clinical trials over the past 25-years.'
Daughter Erin Powers (née Schallhorn) has worked for both Alcon and Abbott Medical Optics - aka AMO, her daddy a shareholder and consultant, the latter acquired by Johnson & Johnson. She is now Senior Director for Medical Affairs and Professional Education for Carl Zeiss Meditec’s Ophthalmic Devices business unit.
Daughter Julie Schallhorn said, ‘"For example, dry eye before surgery does not necessarily mean dry eye after surgery", Julie M. Schallhorn, MD, MS, told colleagues at Refractive Subspecialty Day at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery annual meeting.
Disclosure: Schallhorn reports she is a consultant for Zeiss, Johnson & Johnson and Avedro.'
And I note that Julie Schallhorn has now joined Optical Express!
You can bet none of David Teenan’s hundreds of damaged patents were included in this study, where Steven and Julie Schallhorn, with OE surgeons Jan Venter and David Teenan, claim, ‘[Laser Vision Correction] in pseudophakic patients with multifocal IOL was safe, effective, and predictable in a large cohort of patients.'
Who am I to argue with trustworthy doctors who prioritise the health and wellbeing of their patients, with financial gain not at the top of their agenda?
'J&J cited the cataract offering as a particularly important driver of the deal, describing the issue as the number one cause of preventable blindness, and estimating that around 20 million people are blind from age-related cataracts and that at least 100 million eyes are affected… And the number of cases will only grow with the ageing population, something J&J will likely be banking on for sales growth.’
In fact, Johnson & Johnson are banking on their playmates to promote lens exchange surgery, and I believe funded OE’s recent campaign to discourage the use of contact lenses and guilt trip people into laser or lens surgery!
And the lobbying power that J&J have, with so much money to grease the hands of the right people, explains why the government continue to refuse to meet with me, and why the press and media are persuaded not to mention Sasha Rodoy or My Beautiful Eyes Foundation: patient advocate representing thousands of people damaged by refractive eye surgery, and campaigner for UK government regulation of this dangerous and corrupt industry.
I have a huge spider’s web of information at my fingertips, proving corruption at every level of this industry, but for exposure, it needs a journalist not scared to look at this scandal, or a government not taking bribes in one form or another to turn a blind eye - though of course some of them are caught in the web!
But, as I have said before, I have VERY good reason(s) to believe that 2020 will be OUR year, so watch this space!
* MHRA is the UK equivalent of the FDA, equally corrupt in my opinion, case in point when they appointed Bernie Chang to investigate the M Plus X lens complaints, even though he was working for Optegra Eye Hospital at the time, who, like Optical Express, were also selling the lens (both companies with countless numbers of people fitted with MPlus X lenses currently in litigation).
Bernie Chang was Royal College of Ophthalmologists Vice President and Chair of Professional Standards when, at the behest of David Moulsdale, I was removed as Lay Adviser to the College's Refractive Surgery Standards Working Group.
And did I ever mention that I have an audio recording of Bernie, cornered at a (worthless!) RSSWG public consultation, nervously admitting that David Moulsdale had asked to meet him re getting me removed?
And just to show their gratitude for his brown nosing, Bernie will be crowned RCOPhth President next month.
It is no doubt of great regret to another brown noser, Christopher Liu (friend of David Teenan), that regardless of financial donations to the RCOphth, he was overlooked again.
I've highlighted just a few links in the chain, but there’re plenty more to be found, should anyone with enough time and interest care to look!
The Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP) 27 Feb 2020 15:37 #29
12 February, posted on Facebook:
'No due diligence employed by The Association for Perioperative Practice methinks!
I spoke with an AfPP representative earlier today, directing their attention to OERML, and the recent Scottish Mail on Sunday article posted here on 2 February - let's hope they value their reputation.'
Screenshots say it all methinks, whilst I have had no response from businesswoman Dawn Stott
General Chat 24 Jan 2020 14:52 #30
When complaining to Optical Express you’re always fobbed off by the detestable Clinical Director Stephen Hannan. Our eyes have been ruined thanks to him and his colleagues who do not care, so these tweets from the equally detestable Mrs Hannan disgust me!
Her expensve new car was bought with money made from our damaged eyes, and I dont know how she has the front to complain about "customer care"!
What a hypocrite Noelle Hannan is!