2020/06/02 News from University Hospitals Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation trust

A cross-bay service is continuing to support people in Lancaster, Barrow and Kendal, with eye conditions during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemicThe Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) service is based in the Macular Clinic at Westmorland General Hospital and also offers a service at Furness General Hospital and Royal Lancaster Infirmary. The ECLO service is still helping to support people via telephone and email whilst abiding with social distancing guidelines that have been put in place by the Government.

The service offers patients with eye conditions the following:

  • information about conditions and emotional support

  • advice about different equipment including magnifiers, lighting and reading and writing aids

  • help to obtain transport to and from appointments, if possible, during the pandemic

  • advice about digital support (phones, laptops or iPad)

  • advice about education, employment, housing and leisure

  • support to register for talking books

  • referral to organisations such as Galloways Society for the Blind, Barrow Society for the Blind and the Macular Society for peer support and access to social activities.

  • support for inpatients including giving advice about communicating with a sight-impaired person.

Joan Lindsay, of Bolton-le-Sands, who has Macular Degeneration and has used the ECLO for the past 12 months, said: “The service is absolutely brilliant and very supportive. I have used the service during lockdown and they have helped me to access a new magnifier for reading and helped to support me to set up my iPad.”

Jackie Bateman, Eye Clinic Liaison Officer at Westmorland General Hospital, said: “We want to remind people that we are still running and are here to help them. If people do feel that they are struggling with their condition or need advice and support then please do contact us.”

The service usually runs Monday to Wednesday from 8.30am to 4.30pm but a message service is available at other times during the pandemic. People can contact the service at 01539769055 or email Jackie.Bateman@mbht.nhs.uk

You can find out more about the ECLO service at http://sightadvice.org.uk/what-we-do