Support in Eye Clinics

Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs) give emotional and practical support to eye clinic patients. 

RNIB ECLO Jenny talks to a patient

ECLOs, part of RNIB's Sight Loss Advice Service, have knowledge on eye conditions and helpful local and national services so they are there to support patients at the point of need.

By offering dedicated individual care, ECLOs can talk to patients about their worries and give advice on how to lessen the impact their sight loss may have.

An ECLO acts as an important bridge between health and social services and is 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.

To get in touch with an ECLO and find out more, call our Helpline on 0303 123 9999 (8am - 8pm weekdays and 9am - 1pm Saturdays).

The support ECLOs provide

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

They can work with patients of all ages and advise on:

ECLOs are also able to explain the process of being certified and becoming registered as sight impaired (partially sighted) or severely sight-impaired (blind), and the benefits of being registered.

Family, friends and carers 

ECLOs are happy to have discussions with people close to you who may be affected by your sight condition, but only once you have granted permission to do so. ECLOs also provide information and emotional support to family members and carers focusing on their own needs and concerns and will support them accordingly.

Medical questions

While ECLOs are well informed about eye conditions and able to provide you with information, you should speak to your ophthalmologist (hospital eye doctor) about any medical queries. ECLOs can support you to do this if you wish. 

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 ECLO independently, which is something we very much 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. The ECLO service is there for 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's Eye Clinic Studies Course which is 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. 

More information on ECLOs for healthcare professionals

Having an Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) 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.

More about ECLOs for professionals