Eyecare provider Community Health and Eye Care (CHEC) has joined with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to ensure people diagnosed with sight loss receive tailored support.

The Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLO), provided by RNIB’s Sight Loss Advice service, have launched across 10 UK CHEC sites and consist of 106 ECLOs. They will support patients by informing them on eye treatments, how to adapt to home life, and other mental and welfare areas. Individuals must complete the RNIB’s eye clinic support studies course, accredited by City, University of London, within a year of starting work.

Julie McNeill, an ECLO working with RNIB, said: ‘If someone is told their sight is getting worse it’s life-changing news. This applies to those with long-standing sight loss or newly diagnosed.

My role is about reassuring the patient that they’re not alone and helping them get the right support and information in a timely manner to enable them to remain independent.’

Jon Dore, CHEC chief operating officer, said: ‘With the pandemic increasing the pressure on eyecare services, this innovative partnership will ensure our patients, their families and carers have personalised advice and support to cope with a sight loss diagnosis.’

This is a service that the RNIB has offered for almost 30 years, and the collaboration is part of plans to further strengthen support available, including recruiting 30 more ECLOs within the next five years.