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Thread: UK Campaign re Legislation for Refractive Eye Surgery

  1. #1
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    UK Campaign re Legislation for Refractive Eye Surgery

    Please support the campaign for the UK Government to introduce legislation for Refractive Eye Surgery.

    I urge any UK resident to read the HM Government e-petition, & sign if in agreement.

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/28629

    The majority of people choosing to have refractive eye surgery are satisfied with the results, but unfortunately thousands more suffer adverse results and serious complications, including blindness.

    It is estimated that 1 in 5 people will have unsuccessful results: that means for every 100,000 patients treated, at least 20,000 are likely to experience problems.

    Statistics for patients left suffering with dry eyes, starbursts, etc... are not disclosed, but known to be far higher than clinics will admit.

    High street clinics are run as businesses & make massive profits. "Half price" & heavily discounted offers are only possible because they allow low paid office staff to perform eye tests, usually conducted by higher paid Optometrists.

    Consultations are with an Optometrist, similarly saving higher payments to an Ophthalmic Surgeon.

    In fact, the patient will not meet the surgeon until the day of surgery, shortly before the procedure. The surgeon generally has a high patient list to push through each day, paid on a commission basis, so little time to waste talking with the patient.

    Worryingly:
    1. There is no Government legislation for refractive eye surgery and clinics are self policed.

    2. Other than being a doctor, no specialist qualifications are legally required to carry out refractive eye surgery.

    3. Details of clinical incidents, errors and near misses performed by individual surgeons are not provided: negligent surgeons move from clinic to clinic, continuing to operate on uninformed patients.

    4. Following adverse results, ALL high street clinics refer numerous patients to eye hospitals for repairs. These referrals are paid for by the clinic responsible, usually conditional on the patient signing a 'gagging' order, a confidentiality agreement preventing them from discussing details publicly.

    5. Many people are left traumatised, suffering with depression & PTSD.

    Legislation would force clinics to publish accurate statistics, providing the public with detailed information.

    100,000 signatures are needed for an automatic hearing in Parliament, but with media coverage, support from MPs, and public pressure, it's hoped legislation will be discussed before then.

    If you would like more information please send a PM.

    Thank you for your support.

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/28629
    Last edited by Schmoopie; 25-Feb-2012 at 17:30.

  2. #2
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    Not in UK, so I can't sign it, but just wanting to bump this up so people see it If you agree with the petition, please share a link to it on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever else you can so word gets out about it!
    Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
    Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?

  3. #3
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    I would LOVE to sign your petition, but I'm not in the UK. Somewhere out there, there must be someone who has had lasik, who is able to speak out publicly against lasik.

    The 'lasik risk' awareness campaign really needs to get some high profile people on board. I would make thorough use of the social media that SAAG has suggested. Get friends, relatives and coworkers to 'tweet' a celebrity to support your cause. Social media is a great resource!! Create an effective You tube video that highlights some of the risks associated with lasik. Send the video to as many people as you can. At some point it will make an impression with someone who can publicly raise the 'lasik risk' awareness.

    Thank you and best of luck!

  4. #4
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    I'd love to see the bullcrap of the lasik industry downplaying the real risks to people, or outright lying about it come to an end. People are not being given the opportunity to give truly informed consent and this has to stop. The unlucky ones who end up with un-fixable complications are left to fend for themselves, and it's made worse by the public's assumption that we MUST have known this could happen therefore we have no right to complain about it. WE DID NOT KNOW. In many cases (and probably most) WE WERE TOLD THIS COULD NOT HAPPEN and dry eye was a minor potential issue that would most certainly resolve with time. This is SO wrong!

    Hoping your petition gets some attention!
    Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
    Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?

  5. #5
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    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...gery-safe.html Useful Daily Mail article, Sun 26 Feb 2012. Let's hope the ball is rolling. Come on, UK, let's get this legislation sorted.
    Paediatric ocular rosacea

  6. #6
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    signed - good luck
    The magic gloop IS out there somewhere - right?

  7. #7
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    Thanks for your support...

    'London Tonight' on ITN Monday 5 March, & SKY News to follow!

    Pls send PM for more info... xx

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmoopie View Post
    'London Tonight' on ITN Monday 5 March, & SKY News to follow!

    Pls send PM for more info... xx
    Awesome news!
    Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
    Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?

  9. #9
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    Even better news! Received today from MP supporting campaign:
    "I will table a few Parliamentary questions next week. Let me have any ideas you have for further questions."

  10. #10
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    Wow ~ groundbreaking. This battle + cosmetic surgery NHS/private will change the law and save the UK health system. Perfect timing.

    Very much looking forward to patient compensation + investigation of clinical standards and trading practices + NHS retrieving costs from the for-profit sector.

    (Schmoopie, A Lot of people read this forum and never post, inc docs; it is very high in google.)
    Paediatric ocular rosacea

  11. #11
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    Signed. Hopefully will help other people in the long run.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmoopie View Post
    Thanks for your support...

    'London Tonight' on ITN Monday 5 March, & SKY News to follow!

    Pls send PM for more info... xx
    London Tonight unfortunately postponed due to weekend news

    Will update when I have more info... xx

  13. #13
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    Great news (have just opened champagne)

    Today, John Mc Donnell MP tabled Qs in Parliament to the Secretary of State for Health

  14. #14
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    BBC1 London News interview this evening - more to follow!
    If you missed it, watch on BBC iplayer, or contact me for link.

  15. #15
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    Really proud of you for pursuing this extremely important ground-breaking legislation. If liability for subsequent treatment is not established exactly at this point in NHS reform after treatment gone wrong between private provider, NHS contracted independent provider, and NHS hospital service providers, we are permanently stuffed in this country until the medico-legal boys get in the scrum pursuing independent cases. And that will be madness and a huge mistake.

    I am pursuing the patients'/doctors' right of access to medical records, and sharing/transfer between providers. Unless this is enshrined in law they won't do it. Currently all hospitals have different practice on this. We've even seen consultants who don't keep notes or write to other doctors about the patient. It's obvious why. There is already a total absence of coordination between different parts of the same patient. I feel I need a lawyer at every consultation. This is for a child...

    Thanks so much for continuing and for keeping us updated. Following this with great concern.
    Paediatric ocular rosacea

  16. #16
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    Glad someone took up the advice and no doubt others will take great care when treating future clients.

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    Re Parliament

    Please delete!!!!
    Last edited by Schmoopie; 22-Mar-2012 at 14:48. Reason: Doubled!!

  18. #18
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    Parliamentary reply

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmoopie View Post
    Great news (have just opened champagne)

    Today, John Mc Donnell MP tabled Qs in Parliament to the Secretary of State for Health
    The following Qs tabled by John McDonnell were answered by Simon Burns, Minister of Health

    Written Answers — Health: Eyesight: Surgery
    To ask the Secretary of State for Health

    (1) if he will commission an independent patient study on the results of laser eye surgery;

    (2) what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the success of laser eye surgery.

    The Department has not directly commissioned or evaluated research specifically on the success of laser eye surgery, and has no plans to directly commission an independent patient study of the results of such surgery.
    The Department's National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funds the UK Cochrane Centre. The centre supports the preparation, maintenance and accessibility of systematic reviews of the effects of healthcare interventions produced by 20 NIHR-funded Cochrane Review Groups.
    Reviews carried out by the Eyes and Vision Group include:
    Excimer laser refractive surgery versus phakic intraocular lenses for the correction of moderate to high myopia;
    Photorefractive keratectomy versus laser assisted in situ keratomileusis for hyperopia correction; and
    Photorefractive keratectomy versus laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis for myopia.

    Written Answers — Health: Eyesight: Surgery
    To ask the Secretary of State for Health

    (1) what steps his Department is taking to alert the general public to the potential risks involved in laser eye surgery;

    (2) if he will consider the introduction of a legally enforceable minimum period between the issuing of patient consent to laser eye surgery and the operation.

    Information for the public on laser eye surgery, including information about risks associated with the procedure, has been published through NHS Choices.
    The Royal College of Ophthalmologists published a Patients' Guide to Excimer Laser Refractive Surgery alongside its updated standards for laser refractive surgery in July 2011.
    In addition, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence published Interventional Procedure Guidance in March 2006. This guidance sets out that clinicians undertaking photorefractive (laser) eye surgery should ensure that patients understand the benefits and potential risks of the procedure.
    The article on NHS Choices provides links to the guidance from both the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and the National Institute's guidance.
    The General Medical Council published Good Medical Practice on 12 November 2006. This guidance describes what is expected of all doctors registered with the General Medical Council. It includes guidance on communicating the risks involved with treatment and that doctors must be satisfied that they have the consent or other valid authority before they provide treatment.
    The General Medical Council also published Consent: patients and doctors making decisions together on 2 June 2008, which draws attention to the need for allowing patients time to reflect before and after a decision is made.
    The Royal College's standards cover the consent process which should follow General Medical Council guidelines.
    In addition, all providers of regulated activities under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 must be registered with the Care Quality Commission and meet the essential requirements of safety and quality.
    These requirements include a requirement to have suitable arrangements in place for obtaining, and acting in accordance with, the consent of service users in relation to the care and treatment provided for them.

    Written Answers — Health: Eyesight: Surgery
    To ask the Secretary of State for Health

    (1) what arrangements have been put in place for monitoring the performance of individual surgeons in undertaking laser eye surgery;

    (2) if he will put in place arrangements for the publication annually of the success rates for individual surgeons of their performance of laser eye surgery;

    (3) if he will reassess the standards of training, qualifications, experience and competence required by surgeons undertaking laser eye surgery.

    Corrective laser eye surgery is not carried out routinely on the national health service other than for exceptional clinical reasons and these will be very rare. Performance monitoring of individual surgeons in the independent sector and publication of results will be for the relevant provider within the context of professional and regulatory requirements.
    A doctor undertaking laser eye surgery must be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC). All doctors must work within the principles of 'Good Medical Practice', the standards that a doctor must meet to ensure their continued registration with the GMC.
    The standards state that in providing care you must recognise and work within the limits of your professional competence and be competent when making diagnoses and when giving or arranging treatment.
    The Royal College of Ophthalmologists published updated standards for laser refractive surgery in July 2011.
    The standards cover the appropriate experience and qualifications of surgeons performing laser refractive surgery.
    In addition, all providers of regulated activities under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 must be registered with the Care Quality Commission and meet the essential requirements of safety and quality.
    The requirements include requirements for the provider to ensure they have the suitably qualified skilled and experienced staff necessary.
    Last edited by Schmoopie; 22-Mar-2012 at 15:14.

  19. #19
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    My response today, sent to Secretary of State for Health, with detailed email to Simon Burns Ccd!

    Dear Mr Lansley...

    Re Simon Burns' response to John McDonnell's tabled q's earlier this week.

    Mr Burns' answers have simply been lifted from documents already in the public domain. His response is a lazy one, he's added nothing new, and in my opinion, simply avoided the questions, knowing little or nothing about this issue!

    I appreciate that you are busy man right now, but whilst your time is valuable, more so are people's eyes, too many being damaged due to a lack of government responsibility.

    I look forward to your attention to this matter.

    Sincerely,

  20. #20
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    I think if any governmental state of health is to continue to approve of refractive surgery, then they (the government) needs to be prepared to shoulder the responsibility of poor outcomes. Having had a difficult refractive surgery experience, negative and unacknowledged outcomes figure prominently in my mind.

    Many of these possible poor outcomes are not covered in the consent forms, for example: loss of contrast sensitivity, corneal scarring, post operative eye pain lasting for several months, intolerance of fluoresent lighting, fluctuating residual prescriptions. No one seems to be shouldering the responsibility of these very possible real outcomes.

    The government has a duty to be aware of these outcomes as a regulatory body. If they are relying on reports from the refractive surgeons, they are not getting all of the facts. The government has to perform their own independent study, surveying previous refractive patients. To not do so is negligent.

    Best of luck to you Schmoopie! I sincerely hope you are able to make some head way in this matter. Once one country comes out with an independent assessment of refractive surgery risks, other countries are sure to follow!

  21. #21
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    Re UK Campaign

    No updates re campaign yet!

    However, to anyone new to this forum, I'd like to introduce myself.

    Following a disastrous outcome of Lasek surgery last year, leaving me significantly over corrected, and with debilitating side effects, some of which I will suffer for the rest of my life, a recent consultation with an eminent surgeon found even more problems, which I was previously unaware of.

    It's likely I will need a total of four further separate operations to restore reasonable vision.

    As a result of one year's obsessive research, I was horrified to discover how many people are similarly suffering - many in silence, crippled with depression & PTSD.

    Earlier this year, I launched a campaign asking the government to legislate.
    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/28629

    My story is well documented - see BBC London News interview:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PhLIQK508M

    Meanwhile, I'm able to offer help & advise to anyone left with problems following surgery. This includes a referral elsewhere for a second opinion, treatment if needed, paid for by the original clinic. You may also be entitled to a refund of your payment.

    Please click on my name to email me if you would like further info.
    Last edited by Schmoopie; 07-Apr-2012 at 14:37.

  22. #22
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    Hi Schmoopie

    My problems are not Lasek related but I support this campaign 100%.

    I have met quite a few people who have had Lasek done and are completely happy with the outcome so it shocks them to discover that there are potential risks.

    A work colleague wants her son to spend his inheritance (from grandma) on Lasek because she always hated him in glasses. It is none of my business but I nevertheless tried to persuade her to proceed with caution. This lady is adamant that as long as her son goes to a well known company, then he will be OK. The sad thing is, the young man doesn't seem to be concerned about wearing glasses; he is a voracious reader and it would be dreadful if anything went wrong. I hope she has picked up on this campaign.

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    @Schmoopie - Shocked and saddened to hear that you will need further surgery due to this lasik nightmare. I wish you well and that the campaign will help bring you and others justice.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by irish eyes View Post
    Hi Schmoopie

    My problems are not Lasek related but I support this campaign 100%.

    I have met quite a few people who have had Lasek done and are completely happy with the outcome so it shocks them to discover that there are potential risks.

    A work colleague wants her son to spend his inheritance (from grandma) on Lasek because she always hated him in glasses. It is none of my business but I nevertheless tried to persuade her to proceed with caution. This lady is adamant that as long as her son goes to a well known company, then he will be OK. The sad thing is, the young man doesn't seem to be concerned about wearing glasses; he is a voracious reader and it would be dreadful if anything went wrong. I hope she has picked up on this campaign.
    If you contact me I'll be happy to send some links which might make his mother think twice about pushing him to take this risk. Yes, of course there're lots of successes, but, when it goes wrong, eyes don't grow back like a bad haircut.

    I'm currently helping two young men in their early twenties, both unable to work as a result of laser eye surgery. They went to two different providers, the two most widely advertised companies btw!

    So, re "well known company", please, NO - they're the worst!! Half price surgery equals half price staff not qualified to perform many of the tasks they do, & rushed last minute meetings with the surgeon shortly before the operation - and that will be the ONLY time you ever meet him, even if you're left blind! (Documentation to back this up btw)

    This is why legislation is so important, to publicise true facts & stop the advertising lies that suggest laser is 100% safe.

    I fell for it and now have to live with my regrets for the rest of my life!

  25. #25
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    Schmoopie, Do they offer second opinion and second surgery by their own retained surgeons, or any private sector surgeon, or can it be someone well-known in the NHS working in private practice?

    And again, do they transfer information from the first pre-surgery assessment on to these providers, or do they have to start again with what they see? (pre-surgery assessment: dry eye, contra-indicated conditions, optometry)
    Paediatric ocular rosacea

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by littlemermaid View Post
    Schmoopie, Do they offer second opinion and second surgery by their own retained surgeons, or any private sector surgeon, or can it be someone well-known in the NHS working in private practice?

    And again, do they transfer information from the first pre-surgery assessment on to these providers, or do they have to start again with what they see? (pre-surgery assessment: dry eye, contra-indicated conditions, optometry)
    Second opinion & treatment is with a surgeon of YOUR choice. Preferably NOT at any of the high street clinics: once was an uninformed mistake, twice - in my opinion - would be plain stupid!

    I have a (very) short list of renowned surgeons I personally recommend, who don't work on a commission paid by greedy businessmen, who care about the patient.

    Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the original provider is legally obliged to provide ALL medical records on request.

    I offer a template letter to the patient for this purpose. There are some occasions where the 2nd surgeon will also want details of other related info.

    NB: No matter how many success stories there are, I will never recommend laser eye surgery to anyone. Even if the risk of your eyes being damaged was only 1% that's too high for me! My endorsement of any surgeon for secondary surgery is based on the fact that I have met them, talked with them, and would trust them to care for my eyes as well as they would their own.
    Last edited by Schmoopie; 07-Apr-2012 at 18:11.

  27. #27
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    Update!!!

    Things have moved on significantly since my last post!

    Firstly, in August, I won the right to keep my criticism domain name
    www.opticalexpressruinedmylife.co.uk

    Secondly, on 3 September I met with MPs John McDonnell & Hywel Williams @ The House of Commons to discuss my campaign for government legislation
    www.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/28629

    It was a very promising meeting & hopefully there'll be positive results apparent soon.

    Thirdly, in the UK, litigation for personal injury must be commenced within three years of injury, and this was previously accepted to be the case with refractive eye surgery problems.

    A few months ago I launched a free advisory service, 'My Beautiful Eyes', and have helped a number of clients (all within the three years limitation time) obtain paid referrals, retreatments, & legal representation.
    www.mybeautifuleyes.co.uk

    However, it was recently agreed by legal teams that in fact the three years clock starts ticking from DATE OF KNOWLEDGE, not date of injury!!

    Fantastic news: I was so excited to be able to contact people, who'd previously contacted me and been told they were too late to litigate, to say the situation had changed!

    NB: ALL signed the Patient Consent Form, which is another reason so many are convinced they have no case.

    Not true! Each case is judged on its own merits & the Patient Consent Form not bullet proof.

    'My Beautiful Eyes' team are doing all we can to spread the word, as we have no doubt there are thousands of patients out there suffering in silence, believing they have no case against the clinic/surgeon who damaged them!

    Please google my name for more info, or contact me via the email address below, especially if you're in the UK & need help.

    Sasha Rodoy
    info@mybeautifuleyes.co.uk
    Last edited by Schmoopie; 23-Sep-2012 at 15:11. Reason: Missed link

  28. #28
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    Wow Schmoopie, you make my heart sing!!!!! You are an inspiration. It's refreshing to see a LASIK victim that still has some fight left in them. So many of us are depressed and have PTSD as you know. LOVE to see the fight in you. Greetings from California, USA.

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