Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs)

An ELCO (Eye Clinic Liaison Officer) in an office in the eye clinic
Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs) can give you practical and emotional support from the point when you’re diagnosed with an eye condition, and at any stage of your life if you’re living with sight loss.

ECLOs have lots of knowledge on eye conditions and helpful local and national services. By offering dedicated individual care, ECLOs can talk to you about your worries and give you advice on how to lessen the impact your eye condition may have on your life.

The role of ELCOs

ECLOs act as an important bridge between health and social services and are central to the support and wellbeing of patients in eye clinics.

They also help prevent avoidable sight loss, by talking through treatment and helping people to understand their medication if necessary.

Almost all ECLOs form part of RNIB’s Sight Loss Advice Service.

What kind of support can an ECLO give?

ECLOs are there to provide you with up-to-date information and put you in touch with useful services by making referrals on your behalf.

They can advise you on:

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

ECLOs can work with people of all ages, but some may specialise in working with people of a specific age group, such as older people. However, all ECLOs will provide you with support and advice if you ask for it.

Family, friends and carers 

ECLOs 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 ECLOs are well informed about eye conditions and are able to provide you with information, you should speak to your ophthalmologist (hospital eye doctor) about any medical queries.

Referrals

Your ECLO may be asked to see you in the clinic by an ophthalmologist, an optometrist or a nurse. You can also ask to see an ELCO independently, which is something we encourage.

All referrals to ECLOs are optional. Even if you have been advised to see one, you don’t have to, if that is what you prefer. You may, however, want to see the ECLO 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 ECLO can arrange this prior to seeing you. Once this has been arranged, you will be provided with an appointment at the clinic to discuss your needs.

Professional training

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