THERE is now extra help for people diagnosed with significant sight loss.

The eye clinic liaison officer will be based in ophthalmology at the Countess of Chester Hospital to provide an ongoing point of contact for those with sight loss, their families and friends.

They will be sign-posted to local support networks such as social services and voluntary organisations.

The liaison officer will also offer emotional support to people dealing with the trauma of sight loss and its psychological, social and economic consequences – including accompanying them to the eye clinic if necessary.

Western Cheshire Primary Care Trust has joined forces with hospital doctors, optometrists and local people to make the appointment which will be the first such post in Cheshire with start-up funding provided by the Chester-based Vision Support charity.

Alan Webb, chairman of the Western Cheshire Local Eye Health Group, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with the Primary Care Trust and the hospital to make sure that people suffering the consequences of significant sight loss have someone who will be their ‘one-stop shop’ for the advice, support and information they need.

“This will make a considerable difference to people coping with the day-to-day challenges that significant sight loss brings.”

Western Cheshire Local Eye Health Group was set up by Western Cheshire PCT. Membership also includes hospital doctors, optometrists and local people with experience of significant sight loss and its practical and emotional consequences.

New service-user members would be warmly welcomed. Meetings are held at the Vision Support office in Chester every three months.

The next meeting is in December.

For further information contact Andrew Jones at Vision Support, email: or contact Vision Support, units 1 and 2, The Ropeworks, Whipcord Lane, Chester, CH1 4DZ, or call 01244 381515.