Information on this page was last updated on 18/02/2020
ECLOs work alongside health professionals in eye clinics to offer support and advice to blind and partially sighted people on a range of areas. This includes emotional support, independent living, returning to work and benefit entitlements.
RNIB believes that no one should have to face sight loss alone. ECLOs are an important part of RNIB’s Sight Loss Advice Service, which provides practical advice and emotional support over the phone, as well as face to face in eye clinics, for anyone affected by sight loss.
Current statistics (from January 2019) show that 43 per cent of the top 150 NHS Trusts in England have no trained ECLO in place. In hospitals where there are ECLOs, each one provides support to at least 600 patients, plus 200 relatives, each year.
Research shows that 1 in 4 people with sight loss leave hospital unsure what condition they have, and that only 17 per cent of people experiencing sight loss in the UK were offered any form of emotional support in relation to their deteriorating vision.
David Clarke, Director of Services at RNIB, said: “When you’ve been diagnosed with a sight condition or experience a sudden change in vision, having someone you can trust to turn to for support and advice can make a huge difference.
ECLOs provide a vital role in breaking down barriers for people with sight loss. A huge barrier is fear. Fear of the unknown and panic about what the future holds for you after your diagnosis. By teaching people new skills and showing them a new way of looking at things, ECLOs empower people to turn their fear into a ‘can do’ attitude.
ECLOs, as part of RNIB’s Sight Loss Advice Service, provide vital information, advice and guidance. It is so important that patients receive the support they need, when they need it.
The service in East Lancashire is provided from East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and provides advice on a number of issues:-
– Living with sight loss and remaining independent
– Details of latest aids equipment and technology
– Benefits and concessions you could be entitled to
– Education, employment, housing and leisure
– Eye conditions and treatment information
– Emotional support
– The advantages of certification and registration
Eye Clinic Matron Carrie Earnshaw, said: “Having an Eye Clinic Liaison Officer is the best way to support patients in our very busy eye clinics at Burnley and Blackburn hospitals. Being diagnosed with an eye condition is often difficult to come to terms with, and Jenny does a fantastic job in helping our patients at what can be an extremely confusing and uncertain time.”
In the UK, ophthalmology continues to have the second highest number of outpatient attendances of any speciality. In 2017/18, there were 8.5 million eye clinic appointments.
RNIB’s Sight Loss Advice Service gives practical and emotional support to anyone with an eye condition, as well as their family and carers. Our Sight Loss Advice Service is easy to use. You can either choose from a face-to-face appointment with one of our hospital-based ECLOs or speak to a sight loss adviser over the phone via our Helpline.
This service is mainly based at Royal Blackburn and Burnley General Teaching Hospitals, but also has a presence in other eye clinic sessions at hospital / health centre sites in East Lancashire.
Opening time is between 8.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday
To contact your local Eye Clinic Liaison Officer ask a member of staff in the eye clinic or call:-
Jenny Molineux – Telephone: 07738 120 763 or Email: email@example.com
Other support available:-
If you’d like to talk to a Sight Loss Adviser please call 0303 123 9999 or visit www.rnib.org.uk
Accrington Blind society
This is one of the smaller independent local charities supporting people with a sight loss in the UK. Their resource centre displays many useful items, information and equipment, from little ‘bump ons’ to CCTV magnifiers and liquid level indicators. All items to be used by people with a sight loss are sold at cost. More information is available on their website:- www.accringtonblindsociety.org.uk
Galloways provide advice and support to those experiencing sight loss. They are able to provide emotional support alongside practical information when and where it is needed most.
They aim to be there for patients right from the start of their sight loss journey, helping to understand their eye condition and supporting through the early stages. Alongside that Galloways provide practical help and advice on living with sight loss and keeping independent. They also provide help and information about registration, benefits and concessions.
Furthermore Galloways will talk through the services that they provide and also if needed put patients in touch with other organisations that could be of benefit. Our services are delivered through their four sight loss centres located in Preston, Morecambe, Chorley and Southport.
www.galloways.org.uk or telephone 01772 744148
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