CHEC has today announced the launch of a new partnership with the Royal National Institute of Blind People.
The partnership will provide a dedicated Eye Care Liaison Officer service across CHEC’s centres, offering patients practical and emotional support when they receive a sight loss diagnosis. The partnership launches on 1st of April 2022 and will roll out across 10 CHEC sites.
Jon Dore, Chief Operating Officer at CHEC, said: “We are delighted to announce our partnership with the RNIB, which will enable us to offer our patients support from an RNIB Eye Care Liaison Officer. With the pandemic increasing the pressure on eyecare services, this innovative partnership will ensure our patients, their families and carers have personalised advice and support to cope with a sight loss diagnosis."
The Eye Care Liaison Officer service will ensure CHEC patients receive tailored practical and emotional support from when they receive a sight loss diagnosis. With as many as 2,986 people in the UK estimated to have vision loss as a result of the pandemic backlogs, areas of support offered by Eye Care Liaison Officers include independent living, returning to work, benefit entitlements, use of technology, emotional support, and coping at home.
ECLOs also give patients and their families the opportunity to talk about the impact of a sight loss diagnosis on their lives and to help those patients make informed choices about how to maximise their independence when living with sight loss.
David Clarke, Chief Operating Officer at RNIB said: “Being told you are going to lose your sight can be an overwhelming experience and an ECLO is there to provide much needed information, advice and support. This partnership with CHEC is a significant step forward in RNIB’s delivery of ECLO services and further strengthens our work to ensure nobody receives a sight loss diagnosis without support.”
Jon Dore, Chief Operating Officer at CHEC, Julie McNeill, RNIB Eye Care Liaison Officer, and David Clarke, Chief Operating Officer at RNIB.
RNIB has been delivering an ECLO service for almost 30 years across the UK with the first ECLO employed in 1994. Approximately 50 percent of RNIB ECLOs have sight loss themselves. In order to qualify, ECLOs must successfully complete RNIB’s Eye Clinic Support Studies course, accredited by City, University of London, within 12 months of appointment. The service complies with the RNIB ECLO Quality Framework and Practice guidelines which is supported by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
Julie McNeill, RNIB ECLO, said: “I understand that if someone is told their sight is getting worse, it's life-changing news. This applies to those with long-standing sight loss or newly diagnosed. My role is about reassuring the patient that they’re not alone and helping them get the right support and information in a timely manner to enable them to remain independent. I’m looking forward to being part of this new initiative between RNIB and CHEC.”
This new partnership marks the further growth and expansion of CHEC’s services. This follows several recent site openings, including Nottingham, Leicester, and Northampton, as CHEC continues its wider plans to roll out more vital eye care services across the country.
For more information, contact:
Richard Morgan Evans
T: 0203 195 3240