Local MP Martyn Day met with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to hear about the charity’s Sight Loss Advice Service and the vital work that its Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs) carry out.
Statistics show that calls to RNIB focused on emotional support are set to triple, increasing from 2,021 calls in 2016 to a projected 7,000 calls in 2019. Questions around emotional support are one of the top three reasons why people spoke to the advice line in 2018 and is expected to remain in the top three for 2019.
ECLOs work with health professionals in eye clinics to offer support and advice to blind and partially sighted people on a range of areas. RNIB’s Sight Loss Advice Service provides practical advice and emotional support over the phone, as well as eye clinics, for anyone with sight loss.
Martyn Day MP (SNP) said: “I am supporting RNIB’s drive to raise awareness of the importance of practical and emotional advice for blind and partially sighted people.
“I’ve heard about the fantastic work that ECLOs carry out and the benefits to the people living with sight loss in my constituency.
“Although areas such as health and social care are now devolved to the Scottish Parliament, some of my constituents will be blind or partially sighted and I am glad to be able to support RNIB’s work in support of them.”
David Clarke, RNIB director of services, said: “Losing your sight can have a massive impact on your life and we believe everyone should have access to emotional support when they need it.
“It’s not just the big, life-changing aspects that people need support with. Sometimes it’s the smaller, everyday things that stop people in their tracks or prevent them from living the life they want to. These questions or fears can chip away at your emotional wellbeing if you don’t tackle them and RNIB’s Sight Loss Advice Service can help with this. Our Sight Loss Advisers and Eye Clinic Liaison Officers receive specialist training on living with sight loss, and many have personal experience of sight loss themselves.”