The role of eye clinic liaison officers

Title: The role of the eye clinic liaison officer, 2009

Author(s): Ahalya Subramanian, Miriam Conway and Hanna Gillespie-Gallery; Publisher: RNIB; Year of publication: 2011


This study was conducted in 2009 and many of the findings are now superseded by more recent research and developments in good practice and quality standards. It is important to retain a record of the evidence base however users are asked to refer to the ECLO Quality Framework, Good Practice Guidance and impact research for a more current picture of the role of Eye Clinic Liaison Officers. 

Research context

The need for information and support at the time of diagnosis has long been recognised (Rees et al., 2010; Evans et al., 2007) and although patchy has been undertaken informally by a range of individuals from ophthalmic nurses, local society's workers and unpaid volunteers. A number of roles have evolved to provide this support and onward referrals to other agencies such as social services including that of the qualified Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO). In 2009 RNIB commissioned researchers at City University London to conduct the first evaluation of the ECLO role. The aim of the project was to assess the:   

  • need for the ECLO role    
  • cost implications for the ECLO role    
  • impact on quality of life and adaptation to vision loss in people who are blind and partially sighted.

Key findings

  • ECLOs report that they provide services such as information and emotional support that are currently missing in eye clinics in the UK.    
  • ECLO's significantly improve the patient experience    
  • A lack of standardisation of the ECLO role leads to confusion over the services that ECLOs provide