The trust is proud to welcome eye clinic liaison officer (ECLO), Renu Walia, to Chase Farm Hospital (CFH), where she will be offering practical and emotional support to people newly diagnosed with sight loss.
Renu, who is severely sight impaired, will work alongside health professionals to offer support and advice to blind and partially sighted people in the hospital. Areas of support include independent living, returning to work, benefit entitlements, use of technology, emotional support, and coping at home.
As an ECLO based at CFH Renu Walia will also provide support to patients at Barnet Hospital and Edgware Community Hospital. The post has been appointed by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and Renu is the 100th ECLO.
Dr Alan McGlennan, medical director and acting chief executive of CFH, said: “We are delighted to welcome Renu to Chase Farm Hospital to support our patients. This is an extremely important service providing a much-needed holistic approach.”
RNIB Director of Services David Clarke said: “Receiving a sight loss diagnosis can feel like your whole world has been turned upside down. ECLOs are an essential part of RNIB’s services, providing tailored support at a time when people need it the most.
“Despite the challenges of the pandemic, our ECLOs worked extremely hard to ensure that people continued to receive the help they needed, supporting almost 57,000 patients during 2020 – 2021.
“RNIB is delighted to have appointed its 100th ECLO and I would like to thank the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust for working with us to make this possible. This is a significant milestone for RNIB and another step in making sure no-one receives a diagnosis without support.”
Renu said: “I am passionate about providing both emotional and practical support to people who are living with sight loss, so that they are aware of the support and services available to them.
“Losing your sight can be very overwhelming. My role is to be an independent support, in addition to the clinical staff, who can focus on a person's individual needs and enable them to access the support they need to come to terms with their sight loss and live independent lives.”
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.
To find out more information about ECLOs, visit RNIB’s website at rnib.org.uk/eclo
Picture: Renu pictured far right with the CFH ophthalmology team