The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and SaTH, with support from Sight Loss Shropshire, have launched a new service providing emotional and practical support to people newly diagnosed with sight loss. This is very good news for many members of Shropshre Disability Network.
A new Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) 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.
Emma Chaplin has been recruited to the ECLO role at SaTH. Emma is working at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Telford to offer practical and emotional support to patients and their families and to put them in touch with local support services. Previously, Emma, was the ELCO Officer at Sussex Eye Hospital for the last 3 years.
Rachel Setchell, RNIB ECLO Service 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 to bring this support and advice to patients attending Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals.”
Dr Prasad Rao, Clinical Director for Ophthalmology at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, said: “A diagnosis of sight loss can be a traumatic experience. The appointment of an Eye Clinic Liaison Officer will make a huge difference to these patients by providing them with essential support, information and advice when they need it most.
“We are delighted that we are now able to offer this service at both the Princess Royal Hospital and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, thanks to our partnership with RNIB and Sight Loss Shropshire.”
To find out more information about ECLOs, please visit RNIB’s website: www.rnib.org.uk/ecloinformation.