Sight loss adviser

Sight loss advisers, also known as Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs), are there to support people at diagnosis and beyond by offering practical and emotional support.

Sight Loss advisers or ECLOs can advise and support newly diagnosed people with sight loss.

Sight loss advisers help people who have been newly diagnosed with sight loss by explaining what is happening and putting people in touch with vital services. They also talk through treatment and help people to understand their medication, in some cases preventing avoidable sight loss.

Advice topics

Sight loss advisers are there to provide you with up to date information on local and national resources, pointing you in the right direction and making referrals on your behalf. Information will be available on a range of topics, including:

  • eye conditions
  • registering your sight loss and the benefits of registration
  • welfare benefits
  • employment issues (such as job retention or re-training)
  • emotional support and counselling
  • physical disabilities
  • children's services and where to get help with difficulties at school
  • organisations and local support groups.

Sight loss advisers act as a bridge between health and social services, and are central to the support and welfare of patients in eye clinics where they operate. We work with RNIB to secure

Sight loss advisers or ECLOs are typically based in hospital eye clinics, but may work across a number of clinics, so please check with staff on the availability of their service.

Visit RNIB's website to find out more and if there is an ECLO in your area.

Further information and support

Action for Blind People work with RNIB and have a team of professionals to answer your questions, talk through your concerns, and provide reassurance and support on your sight loss. You can contact us through the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or contact your local Action team.


You can also join our online community, Connect, where people can share experiences and advice with others affected by sight loss.

Sight loss advisers film

Watch a short film about our sight loss advisers and how they can help support patients at the eye clinic.

Trascript of Captions

NOTE Paragraph

So, I'm Tracy Wilson.

I'm the eye clinic

liaison officer here

at the West of England Eye Unit,

which is based at the Royal

Devon and Exeter Hospital.

Hi, I'm Phil.

I'm an eye clinic

liaison officer

based at Torbay Hospital,

down in Torquay.

My role is to work alongside

medical and clinical staff

here in the eye unit to

provide information and support

to patients.

Like Tracy, I see

people who come

in to the clinic who

may be newly diagnosed

with an eye condition.

And again, I talk

to them and see

if there's any

support I can provide

outside of the hospital.

My name's Jane Kingett.

I'm a advanced practitioner,

so a specialist nurse,

working in the glaucoma unit.

So, we know it can be

really frightening if people

are told they've got glaucoma.

Some of the perceptions

are that they

will go blind, what

actually happens,

do they need to have surgery.

So, it's reassuring

people, and actually

building that trust with

them and building up

a trusting relationship--

so the ECLO comes in.

They've got the

time to complement

what we're saying-- so

they can reassure them,

give them more information.

My name's Rob.

I'm partially

sighted as a result

of having a tumor wrapped

around my optic nerve

and my pituitary gland.

When I asked people, they

said, oh, don't worry,

you've had an operation.

There will be swelling,

there will be bruising,

it'll settle down.

So, for weeks and

weeks afterwards, I

was waiting and struggling.

So, I hadn't seen an ECLO.

I hadn't seen anybody

about my eyesight.

It came as rather a

bolt from the blue.

I think had I had

an ECLO immediately,

I could have started

that process.

And I think I would have been

much more able, much more


Having got a lot of

information from the course,

having got a lot of emotional

support from the course,

I realized how

much-- comfortable

my life would have been, had

there been an ECLO on hand.

And I felt I could

take that experience

and put it to good use, perhaps

working with other people who

hadn't had that sort of

emotional response and support.

As everybody knows,

the NHS is increasingly

under financial constraints.

So, we are constantly looking

at how we're providing services

more efficiently, differently,

more cost effectively.

So, one of the big things

is that our ECLO is

funded through lottery funding.

Part of us trying to work

more efficiently-- it's

looking at how we do things

differently-- so having an ECLO

means that potentially we can

see more patients in the clinic

because we're not

having to spend

the time doing the explaining

about support groups

and things.

Somebody else can do that while

we can see another patient.

My name's Glen Palmer.

I'm 27 years old.

I have been a chef for

10 years of my life,

and I've recently become

partially sighted.

After speaking to Dr.

Simcock, who's my consultant,

I understood a little bit of the

medical jargon, should we say.

But I came out-- and I stood

at the door waiting for what's

actually going to happen now.

And all these bits and

pieces came to mind.

And the nurse said

to me, why don't you

speak to our liaison

officer, who's Tracy Wilson.

I this role-- every

day's different,

every patient's different,

every circumstance is different.

And, I think, it

brings me real joy

to see that people can leave

the clinic with a little bit

more understanding

and reassurance,

and possibly a

smile on their face.

She basically

explained everything

that is going to

happen in the future.

She explained to me

about the support

network, the different groups,

everyone is there to help you.

So, it was kind of

like Dr. Simcock had

done his side of things, which

is obviously the medical side,

and Tracy was doing the

backup part, so to speak.

So, they form a

brilliant package.

So, it's almost like

having a nice, big safety

net underneath me.

And everyone's

really nice as well,

so it's a nice safety net.

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