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RNIB pilots ECLO scheme

Three hospitals in the north of England will trial the scheme, which is designed to improve awareness of sight loss services

Sally Harvey

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has launched a pilot scheme to help patients maintain their independence while adapting to living with sight loss.

The Eye Clinic Support Service Volunteering Pilot will train volunteers to support Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLO) at Calderdale Royal Infirmary in Halifax, the Macular Centre in Bradford and the Croft Shifa Health Centre in Rochdale.

Volunteers will make patients aware of the ECLO service, providing impartial information and guidance to people that have been recently diagnosed with sight conditions.

The charity explained that one in four people with a newly diagnosed sight condition leave hospital unsure of what condition they have, and are not told about the ECLO service.

Chief executive of RNIB, Sally Harvey (pictured), said: “We know receiving a diagnosis can be very scary for some patients, especially if they don’t understand the implications of their sight condition on their lives. Our volunteers will be vital in providing much needed information and acting as a gateway for patients to access support from an ECLO.”

RNIB will use feedback from the pilots to inform a roll out of the scheme nationally in September 2018.