Sight loss advisers

Sight loss advisers, also known as Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs), support people at diagnosis by offering practical and emotional support.

Sight loss advisers help people who have been newly diagnosed with sight loss by explaining what is happening and putting people in touch with key services. They also prevent avoidable sight loss, by talking through treatment and helping people to understand their medication.

The role of sight loss advisers

Sight loss advisers offer support and adviceSight loss advisers act as a vital bridge between health and social services and have proven to be central to the support and welfare of patients in eye clinics where they operate.

Sight loss advisers possess a wealth of knowledge on eye conditions, rehabilitation services and local and national services, and can provide you with advice, support and information during any stage of your sight loss.

By offering dedicated individual care, sight loss advisers are able to discuss your personal concerns and provide you with information on how to mitigate the impact the diagnosis may have on your life.

Sight loss advisers also provide preventative advice in order to reduce cases of avoidable sight loss, discussing treatment and medication with at-risk patients.

Location of sight loss advisers

Sight loss advisers or ECLOs are typically based in hospital eye clinics, but may work across a number of clinics, so please check with staff on the availability of their service. Please note: Not all clinics currently offer this service, so we have created a list of the locations of sight loss advisers, ECLOs and similar support in the UK for you.

Advice topics

Sight loss advisers are there to provide you with up to date information on local and national resources, pointing you in the right direction and making referrals on your behalf.

Information will be available on a range of topics, including:

  • eye conditions
  • welfare benefits
  • employment issues (such as job retention or re-training)
  • mental health
  • physical disabilities
  • children's services and where to get help with difficulties at school
  • voluntary organisations and local support groups.

Sight loss advisers are also able to explain the process of becoming registered as blind or partially sighted and the benefits of being registered.

They are usually contracted to work with all age groups but some are designated to working with specific age ranges such as older people. However, all advisers will provide you with information and advice if you request it.

Family, friends and carers 

Sight loss advisers are happy to open up discussions with people close to you who may be affected by your sight condition, but only once you have granted permission to do so.

Medical questions

While sight loss advisers are well informed about eye conditions and able to provide you with information, any medical queries you have should be directed at the doctor in the clinic.

Referrals

Your sight loss adviser or ECLO may be asked to see you in the clinic by a doctor, an optometrist or a nurse. You may also elect to see them independently, which we actively encourage.

All referrals to sight loss advisers or ECLOs are optional, even if your doctor has advised you to see one; you are not obligated to do so. You may however wish to see the sight loss adviser during a later stage of your diagnosis, this option is available to you at any time, even if you have previously declined the option.

English as a foreign language

If you need an interpreter, the sight loss adviser can arrange this prior to seeing you. Once this has been arranged, you will be provided with an appointment in the clinic to discuss your needs.

Professional training

Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs) and sight loss advisers undertake RNIB Eye Clinic Studies Course affiliated to City University London, and are trained to a very high standard. Throughout their careers sight loss advisers and ECLOs are offered opportunities for continuing professional development (CPD), which enables them to keep abreast of new developments, offering you the best possible service.

Watch our video about sight loss advisers

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Our Helpline is your direct line to the support, advice, and products you need to face the future with confidence. If you or someone you know has a sight problem, our specialist advice workers can help.

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