Visual impairment

Support services

RNIB Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLO)

Are key in helping patients understand the impact of their diagnosis and providing them with emotional and practical support for their next steps.

When attending an eye clinic, people may not be able to take in or fully understand the information about their sight condition during their appointment and may not know what questions to ask. This is exacerbated by increasing demand and capacity challenges in hospitals where staff have little time to sit with an individual at the point of diagnosis. ECLOs have the time to dedicate to patients following consultation so that they can discuss the impact the condition may have on their life.

ECLOs work closely with medical and nursing staff in the eye clinic and the sensory services team in social services also based in the Borders General Hospital. They provide those recently diagnosed with an eye condition with the practical and emotional support which they need to understand their diagnosis, deal with their sight loss and maintain their independence.

Contact Alison Patonday:

  • Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (RNIB Scotland), Eye Centre Borders General Hospital, Melrose TD6 9BS
  • Working days Monday to Thursday
  • SMS: 07771 940 387
  • RNIB email: [email protected]
  • NHS email: [email protected]
  • Read more about the RNIB ECLO service

Macular Society

Galashiels Macular Support Group

  • Second Wednesday each month 1.30pm-3.30pm
  • no meeting in January, July or August
  • Focus Community Centre, Livingstone Place, Galashiels, TD1 1DQ

Kelso Macular Support Group

  • Second Wednesday each month 10.30am-12.30pm
  • no meeting in January, July or August
  • Abbey Row Community Centre, The Knowles, Kelso, TD5 7BJ

Read about Macular Society support services  that are available

Peer support, information and friendship

Join us at your local support group to hear how we can help you, your family and friends

If you cannot attend this meeting but would like to find out more please contact:

Hazel McFarlane on 01292 314 822 or mobile 07586 168 803

Scottish War Blinded

This organisation covers the Scottish Borders area and have 2 support workers who will offer free support to ex-service men and women; no matter if they lost their sight during or after service. 

If you or someone you know could benefit from Scottish War Blinded  activities and support, call free today on 0800 035 6409 or contact them online.

Support can include

  • rehabilitation and training to adapt to sight loss
  • grants for equipment to assist with independent living
  • funded respite care
  • home modifications
  • sports, recreation and social activities 

Guide Dog for the Blind (GDBA)

GDBA provides a vital service to people with sight loss in the UK. Learn more about their service by visiting Guide Dogs for the Blind

As long as you or someone you know has a serious visual impairment and meets their strict criteria, an application can be made to be assessed for a guide dog. Find out more at information about guide dogs