100th ECLO starts work to provide vital support for blind and partially sighted people

People newly diagnosed with sight loss will be getting more practical and emotional support as tThe Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) celebrates its 100th Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO).

ECLO Renu Walia is based in Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield, North London and also provides support to patients in Barnet Hospital and Edgware Community Hospital.

Renu, who is severely sight impaired, works alongside health professionals to offer support and advice to blind and partially sighted people in the hospital. She supports people in areas including:

  • independent living,
  • returning to work,
  • benefit entitlements,
  • use of technology,
  • emotional support,
  • and coping at home.

Renu said: “I am passionate about providing both emotional and practical support to people who are living with sight loss, so that they are aware of the support and services available to them. 

“Losing your sight can be very overwhelming. My role is to be an independent support, in addition to the clinical staff, who can focus on a person’s individual needs and enable them to access the support they need to come to terms with their sight loss and live independent lives.”

RNIB has been delivering an ECLO service for almost 30 years in the UK. the first ECLO was employed in 1994. Approximately 50 per cent of RNIB ECLOs have sight loss.

RNIB aims to recruit around 30 more ECLOs within the next five years.

ECLOs form part of RNIB’s Sight Loss Advice Service, which provides practical and emotional support over the phone, face-to-face at many hospital eye clinics, or through online information.

To find out more information about ECLOs, please visit RNIB’s website: www.rnib.org.uk/eclo