ECLOs are key in helping patients understand the impact of their diagnosis and providing them with emotional and practical support for their next steps.
ECLOs work closely with medical and nursing staff in the eye clinic, and the sensory team in social services. They provide those recently diagnosed with an eye condition with the practical and emotional support which they need to understand their diagnosis, deal with their sight loss and maintain their independence.
Most importantly, ECLOs have the time to dedicate to patients following consultation, so that they can discuss the impact the condition may have on their life.
ECLOs are endorsed by the UK Ophthalmology Alliance (UKOA), the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth), NICE and the Department of Health and Social Care. A qualified ECLO will attend the Eye Clinic Support Studies Course (delivered by RNIB and City University, London), which is a recognised qualification by the UKOA, and adhere to the RNIB Quality Framework for ECLO Services.
When attending an eye clinic, people may not be able to take in or fully understand the information about their sight condition during their appointment and may not know what questions to ask. This is exacerbated by increasing demand and capacity challenges in hospitals where staff have little time to sit with an individual at the point of diagnosis to explain things more fully.
Eye clinic staff are often unable to provide the information, emotional and practical support their patients' need. At what can be an emotionally traumatic time, the ECLO service can help provide this essential support in clinic when it’s needed most.
If you don’t have an ECLO in your eye clinic, you can find out more about the benefits the service brings in some key research reports below.