BARS Council - BARS

BARS Staff and Officer

BARS is run by an elected council of volunteers who are drawn from a range of roles within the field of diabetic eye screening. Profiles of our current council members are listed below. If you wish to contact us, please use the contacts page » and your message will be forwarded on to the appropriate person.

Prof Tunde PetoPresident
Prof Tunde Peto MD PhD

Professor Tunde Peto, MD, PhD is the current president of BARS, having taken over from Professor Paul Dodson in September 2016. She is a medical retina specialist and Head of the Reading Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital and has recently relocated to Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland to take up the post of Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology there. She has been working in the field of diabetic eye care since 1991, first as a PhD student, then in clinical settings. Before the re-commissioning of the London DESPs, she was the head of the Tower Hamlets DR Screening Programme, a well respected screening service in one of the most deprived areas of the UK, and has since acted as Deputy Head of the North West London DESP. Following her move to Belfast, she now plays a crucial role in the Northern Irish screening programme.






Phil GardnerChairman
Phil Gardner

I am currently the Diabetic Retinopathy Screening System Specialist for Health Information Systems (UK) Ltd, having previously been Programme Manager of the Sutton & Merton DESP in South London. Prior to this I spent more than five years as a retinal screener/grader with the Brighton & Sussex DESP. I have been on BARS Council since 2012, serving as Webmaster from 2014 to 2015, and chair of the conference committee in 2016.  I became BARS Chairman in September 2016.









Bars Co-ordinator
Alison Simpson

I am currently working for BARS as Administrative Assistant. I have been on BARS Council since 2005. I have been employed by NHS Tayside since 1979. I currently work as Ophthalmology Information Manager in the Ophthalmology Department at Ninewells Hospital and Medical School.









Alyson Jaycock

Alyson Jaycock

I work in the Oxfordshire screening programme as a screener/grader and failsafe officer. I feel privileged to have been elected to the council by my peers, and my aim is to repay that support by actively voicing the opinions of BARS members. I will be doing my bit to improve the service that BARS offers so I can feel proud to promote membership to those delivering 'hands-on' screening.









IvetaDiabetic Eye Journal Editor
Iveta Olejkova

I was born in Czechoslovakia and came to London 20 years ago to pursue my passion for photography. During a BSc course in Digital and Photographic Imaging at Westminster University, I discovered the scientific side to photography and then pursued medical imaging at University College London. I first became involved in diabetic eye screening in 2010, when I joined the medical imaging team as a screener/grader. I later moved to North Middlesex University Hospital and in 2013 established the Diabetic Eye Journal to serve the screening community.  As a council member I also represent BARS at the National Grading Advisory Group.





Richard Bell

Richard Bell

I am currently an ophthalmic/medical photographer based at the RVI in Newcastle upon Tyne.  Previous to that I was a screener/grader for the North of Tyne & Gateshead DESP. I have a great interest in diabetes as I've been a Type 1 diabetic for over 37 years. I'm keen on promoting patient education about the management of diabetes and I feel like a role model, having the condition myself. I've recently completed an Undergraduate Certificate of Higher Education in Health Sciences to promote patient care with the Open University, and from September 2017 will be undertaking a Post Graduate Certificate in Clinical Photography at Cardiff University.  I am delighted to be on the BARS Council serving as Webmaster since 2015.







Cheryl Boulton

Social Media Co-ordinator & Conference Support
Cheryl Boulton

I am a diabetic retinal screener grader for the North Derbyshire screening service and completed the City & Guilds qualification in 2009. I am always looking for new ways to improve the way I work and the service, and was involved in the project to implement online booking for patients in Derbyshire to provide greater accessibility. This is now up and running, and Derbyshire was the first DESP in the country to install this option.

I am currently working on a new project in conjunction with the paediatric OPD clinic at Chesterfield Royal where I hope to encourage improved screening uptake for paediatric patients by synchronising their appointments in paediatric OPD and diabetic eye screening as well as providing educational content on the importance of attending their screening appointments.

I find the opportunity to work on BARS council very exciting as it allows me to share my experiences and knowledge with my peers and colleagues.




Jane CansfieldTrade Co-ordinator
Jane Cansfield

I am a Diabetic Retinopathy Nurse Specialist, currently working in the Ophthalmology department at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust. I am a registered nurse and also completed the Diploma in Diabetic Retinopathy Screening in 2010.

My roles include:
Supporting the clinical lead of the Hampshire and Isle Of Wight DESP with ROG, Arbitration and DS grading; Running a new referral clinic for R1M1 patients referred into HES from the screening programme; Grading and care plan of patients attending a digital image & OCT follow-up clinic in HES.

I currently line manage and support a Diabetic Retinopathy Practitioner and an embedded Diabetic Retinopathy failsafe officer.

January 2016 I began my training and competencies to become the first intravitreal nurse injector in the Ophthalmology department. I now support one stop clinics for DMO, AMD and also have my own injection lists. We have now employed two more trainee nurse injectors who I will also be line managing and supporting.  




Nadine RashDiabetic Eye Journal Assistant
Nadine Rash

Nadine started her screening career in 2008 after she left university and began working for Croydon University Hospital. After completing her diploma, she then went on to become an assessor and trainer for new members of staff. She was part of the implementation of OPDR clinics and ran the MDT meetings within the borough. After a brief stint working for Optometry practices within South East London, she now works for Health Intelligence based in East Anglia. Nadine has a great interest in health and is currently studying further qualifications to aid her ability to give health and clinical advice.







Zoe TobinSecretary
Zoe Tobin

Zoe has worked for the West Sussex DESP since August 2008, starting off as an Administrator.  She has recently moved in to the role of Failsafe & Administration Coordinator from a Failsafe Officer and is enjoying the new challenges that this role brings.  Zoe has completed the City & Guilds Administration Certificate and is now a trainer and assessor for those units, she is looking forward to being involved in the roll-out and training for the new Care Certificate Qualification within her Programme.  Zoe has played a huge part in improving patient experience; this includes the Nursing Home Assessment Form (NHAF) and is excited to be able to contribute and share her knowledge and enthusiasm with the BARS Council.







Bev TolleyProgramme Management Co-ordinator
Beverley Tolley

I started my career in retinal screening in 2008 when I saw a job as a trainee retinal screener advertised and thought it sounded much more interesting than working in accounts and have never looked back. I spent 5 years as a screener grader in Southampton DESP until 2013 when I moved to Devon to become the Programme Manager for North and East Devon DESP. I was invited to join the grading college in 2013 and I am also a peer reviewer.                                      






Richard CraggCouncil Member
Richard Cragg

I have been working for the NHS for 27 years in the Derbyshire and Nottingham areas as a Senior Medical Photographer, Ophthalmic Imaging manager, and Diabetic Eye Screening Programme Manager.   My qualifications include a degree in Ophthalmic Science & Technology, Management and Leadership by the Chartered Management Institute, as well as the statutory City & Guilds Certificate in Diabetic Eye Screening.  Throughout my career I have undertaken many positions in affiliate organisations, and taken part in several research projects associated with the progression of ophthalmic care, as well as lecturing nationally on many Ophthalmic Imaging and Diabetic Screening subjects.  I currently hold the position of Programme Manager for the Derbyshire Diabetic Eye Screening Programme which cares for 61,000 diabetic patients in its area.  Due to the combination of my technical, clinical, and managerial knowledge and experience, I feel I am well placed to serve BARS and its members throughout my term on council.








Karen Whitehouse

Co-opted Member - Education & Training
Karen Whitehouse

I am the Training Lead for the Birmingham, Solihull, and Black Country DESP. I have worked alongside Prof Paul Dodson for 6 years to promote training across England and also overseas. I have trained staff in Jersey, Ethiopia, Singapore and Abu Dhabi.
I was on the steering group developing the new Healthcare Screener qualification with Public Health England and our department is now an awarding centre.
In addition to this, I am still a senior grader to DS ROG level, and also an accredited research photographer.








AndrewCo-opted Member - Education & Training
Dr Andrew Brown MBChB MRCOphth FBDO GDL MPH

I qualified in Medicine in 1987 and after training in ophthalmology in Manchester, spent 10 years in community eye care, having also trained in general practice. I returned to hospital ophthalmic practice in 2006 and have developed a specialist interest in diabetic retinopathy and retinal imaging. I have been involved with the Staffordshire Diabetic Eye Screening Programme since it began in 2006 and became Clinical Lead in 2014. I undertake EQA visits as a PCA as part of this role and am also Associate Medical Director of my Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire Partnership Trust with responsibility for medical appraisal, revalidation and the maintenance of high professional standards. I have recently completed a Master's Degree in Public Health (with a focus on diabetic eye screening) and am pursuing an interest in Medical Education, having just commenced a postgraduate certificate in the subject. I am a newly qualified NOCN assessor and have been involved with GREG in developing teaching materials for the new screening qualification.  I look forward to working with the other BARS committee members to further develop the profession and am grateful for the opportunity to do so.                           




Co-opted Member
Grant Duncan

Grant has been a retinal screener since 1994 and was a member of the Council for the British Association of Retinal Screeners (BARS) from 2005 until 2010, serving as Chairman for two years from September 2007.  At a National Level, he has been involved in various UK screening committees and expert reference groups working towards the development of the City & Guilds Diploma for DRS and in the area of professional registration and regulation of those working in the field of diabetic eye screening.





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