Outreach projects

One to One Support

For the past 11 years MertonVision have been able to provide a unique follow up service for all of our new clients.

From previous experience and feedback, we have discovered that initially it is hard to come to terms with sight loss and also difficult to absorb all of the information that has been given by the rehabilitation team.

Therefore we are able to provide a one to one support worker who will contact the client within six weeks of their first visit from the rehabilitation team. Initially the support worker will arrange for a home visit where they can chat to the client in a friendly and supportive manner and also establish the best ways to work with the client to help them go forward and come to terms with their sight loss.  The support worker may also accompany the client on one of their regular routes to help them regain their confidence, and also introduce them to services that are provided by MertonVision or other local organisations.

When the support worker feels confident that their client has been given the best possible support, they will arrange to contact the client within three months to establish how they are managing with their sight loss.  After this the client will be contacted on an annual basis to ensure that they have the best possible follow up service.

Hospital Eye Clinic Liaison Officer ECLO

At the Duke Elder Eye Unit, St George’s Hospital, Tooting. Samantha Jarvis is available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays at the eye unit, or Helpline number 020 8543 4989. This is a 24hr messaging service.

Samantha also attends the St. Thomas’ Hospital, low vision clinic on Fridays.

ECLOs provide support to people in hospital eye clinics. It is in these clinics that people often receive the bad news that there’s nothing more that can be done – medically at least – to help their sight loss. This can be a traumatic time, and ECLOs are there to provide on-the-spot emotional support, and practical advice about the range of help that can be provided. They can make sure people get access to the help they need, as soon as they need it. No-one should leave an eye clinic in despair; an ECLO can help make sure this doesn’t happen.

Some of our specific aims are:

  • To have time to listen to patients at a very stressful moment.
  • To help to inform patients of the services and help available to them and of the possible benefit to them of accepting registration as the trigger for such support services.
  • To liaise where necessary with further support services
  • To make sure that the overall system does act in as ‘seamless’ manner as possible.

The service covers any of the patients who attend the eye clinics in St. George’s Hospital. This generally means people who live in Merton, Sutton, Wandsworth, Lambeth and North East Surrey.