Having an Eye Clinic Liaison Officer or ECLO is one of the most effective ways of supporting patients in the eye clinic. ECLOs are key in helping patients understand the impact of their diagnosis and providing them with emotional and practical support for their next steps.
One of Birmingham Vision’s ECLO’s, Russ, has given us an insight to a typical day at the Birmingham Midland Eye Centre…
My day starts at 8-30am. I begin by checking my emails and the answer machine. Then, along with my Guide Dog, take a walk down to the clinics to make hospital staff aware I’m in and check the ECLO letter boxes for any post, referrals or CVI’s.
At 9-30am I have an appointment with patient to collect their amended CVI and a set of notes he had requested for an appeal for PIP. I always ask patients to sign for their notes and sign their CVI whilst they are in with me. I also take a copy for the patient to take home.
After the appointment, at around 10-30am, I will sit in the outpatient’s department making myself visible to patients and staff. On this occasion, whilst there, a patient approaches me for advice about getting registered with the Local Authority. I explain the only person that could register them would be their consultant who would take everything into account and decide whether they can be registered.
As I sit in the Outpatients department, a Consultant brings a patient to me who he has just registered as Severely Sight Impaired and would like me to discuss the process and benefits of registration. We move to my office where it is more private, and I explain the registration process and the benefits of registration. I photo copy his CVI, so he can take a copy home with him, I also explain the benefits and support he may be entitled to on registration.
After this patient has left, I make my way back down to outpatients and it isn’t long until another consultant brings a patient to me asking if I could find out if the patient was registered SSI, if not he would like to register them. I head back to my office with the patient and consultant following. I check the records, which confirms they are already registered SSI, inform the consultant and explain the benefits the patient may be entitled too.
At 1pm I decided to take a break, I head back to my office for my lunch which includes a nice walk in the fresh air with Sparks, my Guide Dog.
After Lunch at 1.30pm, I spend some time in the office processing CVI’s (which have to be sent to 5 different places) and making follow up calls to patients who I referred to outside services 8 weeks ago. Fortunately, most have been contacted by the organisation, for the patients who haven’t heard anything, I will I contact the organisations who I referred them to and find out why.
At 4pm I will walk around the clinics to check there is a good stock of leaflets and then check my ECLO letter boxes for CVI’s and any referrals put in throughout day.
At 4.30pm, I finish. I now have a 2-hour journey home ahead of me, but it is well worth it to know I have supported several patients to get the help and advice they need.