Posted By: Angela Smith

Date 02-10-18

Association of Optometrists ‘Charity of the Year’ Award shortlist


Association of Optometrists Logo

Friends Shortlisted for Association of Optometrists ‘Charity of the Year’ Award.

Friends of Moorfields have been shortlisted for Association of Optometrists ‘Charity of the Year’ Award. This award recognises charities from all corners of the eye health sector, including those who are dedicated to research, raising awareness of optical issues, or supporting people with vision impairments. Nominees for of this award will be able to evidence an outstanding and successful initiative from the past 12 months, which demonstrates innovations in research, education, campaigning or profile-raising activities.

In November 2017 Friends took over management of the Health Hub at City Road and employed a full time Health Hub Support Officer, who is also a qualified Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO). The objective of the project is to provide accessible, non-medical Moorfields approved information for patients and carers. We have also developed a team of trained and uniformed volunteers based in the Hub and entrance corridor at all times.

Friends argued that a properly resourced and managed Health Hub would free up time for clinic staff as they could recommend that patients visit the Health Hub to talk generically about their conditions. These are conversations which can be very time consuming, and often repetitive; but are essential to the patient’s emotional support. This allows clinic staff to focus more on a patient’s physical/medical wellbeing in the clinics themselves. The Hub is a clear and visible access point for patients.

The Health Hub Support Officer underwent an intense and detailed induction, and started seeing patients in the Hub from January 2018. Since then we have handled over 3,000 patient enquiries.

Patients have the opportunity to talk with our ECLO qualified Support Officer or one of our trained volunteers. They are signposted to Moorfields approved information leaflets about their conditions, and are also given information about other areas where they can receive further support (e.g. The International Glaucoma Association; The Macular Society; RNIB etc.)

The most common areas of enquiry are about AMD, Glaucoma and Cataracts, but the team also supports patient with advice about assistive technology and daily living aids, and have received RNIB training to do this. We give out general health information about conditions that can affect eyes and vision, such as diabetes. We also signpost patients to befriending groups, or the Moorfields’ counselling service

We have also held a number of successful awareness raising events at the Hub in partnership with other colleagues at Moorfields: These include the Clinical Research Facility Open Day as part of International Clinical Trials Day. Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Week; International Glaucoma week/’Know Your Eye Drops’; Learning Disability Awareness Raising; Macular Week, (with the Macular Society); Organ Donation Week, and ‘Jeans for Genes Day’.

Please support us, and vote for Friends to win here

or come to The Friends Shop (opposite Clinic 2, City Road) or the Health Hub to sign a voting form.