Inpatients with sight loss are benefitting from the increased support of our Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO).
Vicky French is based in the Treatment Centre and supports patients being seen in the Ophthalmology outpatients department but she wants to offer more help to patients being treated on our wards.
Vicky said: “The main function of my role is to support patients who are newly diagnosed with sight loss and if applicable support them through the Certificate of Vision Impairment registration process. But in addition to this I offer support to patients with any level of eyesight loss to ensure that they have the necessary support they require within their home and local surroundings.
“The role I do still remains quite new and unknown in some areas of the NHS. The majority of my work is with outpatients who attend the Ophthalmology department but just recently when I’ve been speaking to patients and their relatives/carers, they have said it might be beneficial to have been linked into the ECLO services while being treated as an inpatient. I am not aware that other hospitals are doing this, but I am keen to trial it.”
“Patients with sight loss tend to know their own homes inside out and how to get around them, but in hospital it must be awful if they don’t know where they are and can feel completely disorientated.”
An ECLO can offer:
- Support and information to patients and their carers when dealing with sight loss
- Links to local support groups and voluntary organisations
- Practical information and advice to try and improve safety in the home
- Referrals to statutory and voluntary services
- Referrals to educational and employment services
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