The benefits of ECLOs

Having an Eye Clinic Liaison Officer or ECLO (also known as sight loss adviser or Vision support service officer) is one of the most effective ways of supporting patients in the eye clinic. ECLOs are key in helping patients understand the impact of their diagnosis and providing them with emotional and practical support for their next steps.

What is an ECLO?

Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs), or similar early intervention support staff, 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.

Why are ECLOs needed?

Being diagnosed with an eye condition can be difficult to come to terms with, and everyone reacts differently. It can be an extremely confusing and uncertain time and in many cases emotionally traumatic.
People with sight loss are three times more likely to suffer depression.
A survey of registered individuals revealed that after diagnosis 92 per cent of blind and partially sighted people were not offered formal counselling by the eye clinic, either at the time or later.
Nearly a quarter of blind and partially sighted people (23 per cent) leave the eye clinic not knowing, or unsure of, the name or nature of their eye condition.
Eye clinic staff are often unable to provide the emotional and practical support their patients' need. The ECLO can help provide this essential support.

ECLO – benefits and supporting evidence

If you don’t have an ECLO in your eye clinic, you can find out more about the benefits and the costs in our 'Economic Impact of Eye Clinic Liaison Officers' casestudies and through the key research reports below:

Is there an ECLO near me?

We also work to understand where ECLOs and other early intervention staff operate. You can find out the level of support in your area, by downloading our register:

Already an ECLO or want to become one?

We are committed to helping early intervention staff reach a common standard of knowledge and care. That’s why we run a variety of courses and networks to support the development of the ECLO and other early intervention staff roles, and connect them to like-minded peers across England.