Specialist Support for People Diagnosed with Sight Loss Introduced in Lincolnshire
The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Lincoln and Lindsey Blind Society, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, and NHS England have launched a new service providing emotional and practical support to people newly diagnosed with sight loss.
Two new Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs) will work alongside health professionals to offer support and advice to blind and partially sighted people on a range of areas. These include independent living, returning to work, benefit entitlements, emotional support, and coping at home.
Andrew Pinder and Deborah Dobson have been recruited to the ECLOs roles in Lincolnshire. Andrew and Rachel, who will be based at Pilgrim Hospital and Lincoln Hospital respectively, will work countywide to bring vital support to local people with sight loss.
Gareth Davies, RNIB’s Area Operations Manager for Central England, said: “It can be an overwhelming experience being told you are going to lose your sight. That feeling is compounded if people have to deal with it alone.
“ECLOs provide much needed information, advice and guidance. We are extremely pleased to be working with our partners in bringing sight loss advisors to the people of Lincolnshire.”
Wojciech Karwatowski, Eye Health Local Professional Network Chair for NHS England (Central Midlands), also said: “The specialist assistance offered by Lincolnshire’s ECLOs will undoubtedly be of huge benefit to local people who are losing their sight.
“We are delighted to be able to support this valuable new service and we’d like to wish Andrew and Rachel all the very best in their new roles.”
Mohit Gupta, Clinical Director of Ophthalmology at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, added: “This is a service we’ve wanted for a long time to help patients in Lincolnshire.
“Both Andrew and Rachel will play a vital role in helping patients who have problems with their sight to get in contact with the appropriate services to help with their needs. This will also enable medical staff to improve the quality of care for their patients and improve patient experience in the county.”
To find out more information about ECLOs, please visit RNIB’s website: www.rnib.org.uk/ecloinformation.