Leading sight loss charity, Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT), has announced that from today the Eye Unit Support Service will be run by Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Since its formation in late 2014, the volunteer-led Eye Unit Support Service in the Royal Eye Unit at Kingston Hospital has provided emotional and practical support to those newly diagnosed with visual impairment or receiving treatment for their eye condition. This support is essential during a time many can find confusing, daunting and isolating.

Twenty-eight volunteers have provided invaluable support to in excess of 5000 patients in the two years since the service started in September, 2014.

TPT is transferring the management of the service to the Kingston Hospital in order to ensure the sustainability of the service. The volunteers will be supported not only by the staff within the Royal Eye Unit and the hospital’s volunteering team, but they will also be joined by an Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) who will work alongside them to provide additional support to the many patients visiting the unit each year.

TPT have been working with Kingston Hospital during the transition period to plan for the future and will continue to offer support as necessary.

Michelle Baxter Wickham, Development Manager at TPT, commented:

“We are incredibly grateful to all of our volunteers who have been involved in the service and the difference they have made to the lives of patients and their carers.

“I’d also like to thank the hospital, specifically the Royal Eye Unit and volunteering team, for their enthusiasm and support in developing and delivering the service.”

Mr Hooman Sherafat, lead Consultant in the Royal Eye Unit, commented:

“We are very grateful for the support we have received from Thomas Pocklington Trust in helping to establish our Royal Eye Unit Volunteer Support Service which is valuable to our patients.

“We look forward to continuing the partnership in the future.”

For more information, contact:

The Volunteering Service at Kingston Hospital, volunteering@kingstonhospital.nhs.uk


Pic caption: Thomas Pocklington Trust Eye Unit Support Service volunteers and coordinators at a celebratory lunch