Advising with empathy and experience

Surgeon struck off after misleading patients.

A surgeon has been struck off for putting his own financial interests before the good of his patients.

Bobby Qureshi cultivated a high media profile as an eye expert and featured his patients the actress June Brown, of EastEnders, and socialite Lady Annabel Goldsmith in advertisements

But a tribunal found his treatment of elderly, vulnerable patients dishonest and deliberately misleading.

Twenty-four patients gave evidence against him. Some had spent their life savings on a £24,000 treatment.

As medical director of the private London Eye Hospital, the surgeon offered an operation implanting innovative lenses in people with age-related macular degeneration (ADM).

ADM, a progressive condition, is the most common cause of blindness and there is no cure.  Most of Mr Qureshi's patients were aged more than 70.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service found: "The patients, many of whom were vulnerable, were also subjected to pressure selling by Mr Qureshi's staff, a practice which he had allowed to be used."

Risk was inadequately explained and, even though many of his patients felt the operation had made their eyesight worse, their complaints were dismissed.

One woman complained to Mr Qureshi she was no longer able to read after the surgery but he disagreed, adding: "I'm a world famous ophthalmologist, are you trying to say you know more than me?"

The woman left in tears and has since been registered blind.

The panel heard Mr Qureshi was a skilled surgeon with no previous disciplinary findings.

It found there was misconduct and removing Mr Qureshi's name from the Medical Register was the "only appropriate sanction in order to meet the overarching objective which is to protect patients, maintain public confidence in the medical profession and uphold proper professional standards.”

The London Eye Hospital is now under different management.

The Macular Society received complaints about Dr Qureshi and assembled the list of complainants who gave evidence to the GMC.

Chief executive, Cathy Yelf, said: "We welcome the decision to stop Mr Qureshi practising as a doctor.

"It has been deeply distressing and very shocking that a doctor could be found to put profit ahead of his patients' safety."