Dr Bobby Qureshi performed ‘miracle eye surgery’ on thousands of patients with age-related macular degeneration
The celebrity eye surgeon who ‘saved’ EastEnders actress June Brown from blindness is being investigated by the General Medical Council amid growing concerns about his practices, exposed by this newspaper in April.
Ophthalmologist Dr Bobby Qureshi performed ‘miracle eye surgery’ on thousands of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), including Brown – who plays one of the BBC soap’s longest-running characters, Dot Cotton – and socialite Lady Annabel Goldsmith.
The Mail on Sunday has learned that he is being investigated by doctors’ governing body the GMC after scores of furious patients, most in their 70s and 80s who paid up to £25,000 for the heavily promoted procedure at the London Eye Hospital, alleged they were left with little or no improvement to their vision following the surgery.
Many claimed they were not adequately warned that it might not work.
A dossier of evidence detailing a number of cases was submitted to the GMC by leading vision charity the Macular Society in June.
An interim hearing was held last month and, as a result, it has placed restrictions on Mr Qureshi’s practice while it investigates further.
The conditions include a requirement for Mr Qureshi not to perform any operations until the patients’ medical notes and signed consent forms have been seen and discussed with him by a GMC-appointed clinician.
Witness statements from at least two former patients of the clinic have been taken as part of the probe.
The Macular Society’s Cathy Yelf said: ‘We have raised concerns with the GMC and are pleased an investigation is under way.’
Mr Qureshi, who set up the London Eye Hospital, has invested heavily in advertising and promotions for the artificial lenses that he developed.
The ophthalmologist treated actress June Brown, but is now being investigated by doctors’ governing body the GMC after scores of furious patients alleged they were left with little or no improvement to their vision following the surgery
The pioneering implants, iolAMD and EyeMax Mono, give hope to millions of Britons who suffer from AMD, an incurable condition which robs sufferers of their vision when the part of the eye responsible for central vision deteriorates.
The lenses are designed to magnify vision and redirect light rays to healthier parts of the eye.
Inserting them involves a ten-minute procedure at the Harley Street clinic. The operations are known to have helped many hundreds of patients improve or prolong their vision.
But our investigation earlier this year revealed concerns over Qureshi’s ‘hard sell’ tactics targeting vulnerable and elderly patients, with patients also complaining about a catalogue of failings and poor care at the clinic.
Since then, more than 20 other former patients have contacted the MoS, again increasing the total number of disgruntled patients.
One 77-year-old, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she felt she was a ‘victim’ of ‘unscrupulous’ practices after paying £25,000