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.

Dr Samantha Mann

Dr Samantha Mann

Mrs. Samantha Mann has been a Consultant Ophthalmologist at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital for 13 years.  Her early career was spent in South London teaching hospitals before studying for an MD into AMD. She then spent a further three years at Moorfield's.  

She is currently the Clinical Lead for the South East London DESP with over 110,000 patients. She has co-developed the OCT pathway within SELDESP and been involved setting up pathways for anti-VEGF treatment in the hospital Eye Service.  She has also been involved in the production of the video  ‘Danny's story' and research into non-attendance at Eye Screening. In addition she has been involved in research into Retinal Vein Occlusions and biomarkers for wet AMD







Bars Co-ordinator
Alison Simpson

I have been part of BARS Council since 2005 as Admin Co-ordinator.  This role involves supporting Council in the organisation of our conferences and other educational events.

I started with NHS Tayside in 1979 as a Medical Secretary in Ophthalmology and then  General Medicine.  I have been Ophthalmology Information Manager in Ninewells Hospital and Medical School in Dundee since 2000.    Aside from BARS, I also run the Scottish Ophthalmological Club Meetings. 

My dad was a Type 1 diabetic for 62 years so I feel that being involved in BARS I am able to give something back for the great care and attention my dad was given by all healthcare professionals over the years.   





Richard Bell

Co Chair and Web-Master
Richard Bell

I am a senior medical photographer and ophthalmic photography research co-ordinator based at the Newcastle Eye Centre within the Royal Victoria Infirmary, 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 42 years. I'm keen on promoting patient education about the management of diabetes and clinical research. I feel like a role model, having the condition myself. I've completed an Undergraduate Certificate of Higher Education in Health Sciences to promote patient care with the Open University, and in March 2019 I completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Clinical Photography at Cardiff University.  I have recently completed the University Diploma in OCT Interpretation course run by the Gloucestershire Retinal Education Group (GREG) in association with University of Gloucester. I am delighted to be on the BARS Council serving as Webmaster since 2015 and more recently been elected as Co Chair in March 2021.




Charlotte WallisCo Chair and Education Co-ordinator
Charlotte Wallis

I have worked in the NHS since 1999 when I joined Poole Hospital NHS Trust as a medical photographer. I was the student representative on the Insititute of Medical Illustrators whilst studying for my BSc in Medical Illustration which I gained in 2006. I started work for the Dorset Diabetic Eye Screening Programme in 2004 and have worked my way up to senior grader/slit lamp examiner. In my career I have worked as a Quality Assurance Advisor for SQAS, covering DES and AAA screening. I also serve on the DR NET steering group where I have been involved in developing an international online learning course about how to set up a DR screening programme which has won several awards.  I have been a member of BARS council since 2018 and became co-Chair in 2021. I am passionate about sharing learning and good practice.                         




Lynsey ScottTreasurer
Lynsey Scott

I am employed in NHS Fife's Diabetic Retinopathy Screening (DRS) Service as Team Leader.  I started with Fife DRS at its inception in 2006 and have worked in the roles of Photographer, Level 2 Grader, Slit Lamp Examiner, OCT Scan Reader and now Team Leader.

I completed my Diploma in Retinopathy Screening in 2010 and am currently halfway through studying for a Health Science degree with the Open University.  I am passionate about providing the best patient care, the continuing education and development of staff and reaching those patients who disengage from screening.





Zoe TobinSecretary
Zoe Tobin

Zoe has worked for the West Sussex DESP since August 2008, starting off as an Administrator and progressing to Failsafe Officer.  Zoe is now the Failsafe & Administration Co-ordinator and enjoys the varied challenges that this role brings.  Zoe has played a huge part in improving patient experience; this includes the Nursing Home Assessment Forum (NHAF). 

Zoe is passionate about Failsafe within Diabetic Eye Screening and hopes to bring this enthusiasm to the Failsafe Forums.

Zoe has been on the BARS Council as Secretary since September 2016.




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.  





Kamran RajabyCo-opted Member - Social Media Editor
Kamran Rajaby

I have always been a very visual person and cannot imagine a world without sight. My fascination in the visual world led me to study Television and Video Technology at Kingston University from where I graduated with BSc Hons in 2013.

Until 2016, I freelanced as a photographer/videographer and did extensive events based work. In November 2016, I became a screener at South West London DESP and quickly progressed to screener grader. I've recently moved to the South East London DESP where I'm currently a primary and secondary grader and have ambitions to progress into a senior screener grader position. I take great pride in my work and the part I play in preventing sight loss.

I am honoured to be part of the BARS council and looking forward to leading on the photography and videography at conferences/events along with assisting with the website and journal.






Dominique ZamarianCouncil Member Failsafe Co-ordinator
Dominique Zamarian

My Failsafe journey started in 2017 at South West London DESP where I worked my way up to Failsafe Coordinator. I am now currently working as a Failsafe Supervisor for South East London DESP since 2019.

Since having the extensive knowledge and experience in Failsafe as well as attaining my health screening and grading diploma, I was asked to consult on other DESP failsafe departments to implement my process. I feel it is vital to have an all-round understanding of what each department does. I hope to one day move in the direction of Quality Assurance.

I absolutely love what I do because I am passionate about patient safety and the role I play in DESP. I am honoured to have been elected to be a part of the BARS council and I look forward to shining a light on the importance of admin and failsafe in the prevention of sight loss.




Matthew BainesCouncil Member
Matthew Baines

I have recently joined the South Tees programme as a Screener-Grader. Previously, I worked for a number of years in the Sheffield service, also as a Screener-Grader. I have experience of grading at Primary and Secondary levels and training staff in clinical practices and grading procedures. I have also been involved with engagement and outreach work in local communities to promote and encourage uptake of screening. I am a registered Professional Clinical Advisor with Public Health England and participate in Quality Assurance visits. It is a privilege to serve on BARS council to highlight the vital work screening services perform.






Kasey MitchellCouncil Member
Kasey Mitchell

I am recently new to the world of eyes as a trainee medical photographer in the ophthalmology department at the RVI in Newcastle upon Tyne. I am very passionate about my job and have thoroughly enjoyed learning about all the different eye conditions, how to photograph them and how patients can manage their conditions effectively.

I have a bachelor's degree in Photography and have recently enrolled onto a post graduate certificate in clinical photography at Cardiff University. I am looking forward to my studies alongside developing my career and knowledge within ophthalmology to ensure patients get the best care possible.






Darryl SealeyCouncil Member
Darryl Sealey

Currently I am an ophthalmic staff Nurse working within the Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre for five years. Working within the accident and emergency department, we do see many people with proliferative diabetic retinopathy and non proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

As a result of my interest, I have completed in 2020 & 2022 certificates in diabetes eye care and age related macular degeneration and OCT with the Gloucestershire Retinal Education Group (GREG). I have developed a keen interest in retinal screening and I am looking to be taking on the Health Screeners Certificate for DRS. I have been a nurse for 25 years and do possess both a Masters and a Bachelor degree respectively. I am very passionate about ophthalmology. Looking forward to serving on the council.






Stacey BarbacciaCo-opted Member - Newsletter Designer/Editor
Stacey Barbaccia

Having graduated from Birmingham City University in 2010 with a degree in Visual Communication, I jumped straight into a role as a Screener/Grader for the Birmingham, Solihull & Black Country DESP in which I remained for 10 years. During my time working within the screening programme,

I was a member of the Grader College for several years and a part of the promotion group for the DESP, which meant I designed and created a lot of the promotional and educational material and leaflets. I've also had a fair amount of success in entering the BARS Photo Competition Artistic Category!

I now work as a Remote Grader for Medica, Ireland and I am extremely happy to continue my design work within the BARS organisation.





Milena Lalkata-Tarczak

BARS Council Member
Milena Lalka-Tatarczak

In January 2021 I started my role as a Retinal Screener in Jersey. I was previously a HCS in a care home and therefore have undertaken significant CPD since moving: University Certificate in Imaging for Diabetic Eye Screening , BARS Administration course, Anatomy of the Eye. I have also been fortunate enough to attend, online, the National diabetic eye screening conference in 2021 and also the BARS conference last year with the whole team.

I am bilingual in English and Polish and am currently learning Portuguese with the aim I can offer screening in 3 languages. I am always looking for opportunities to learn and improve, not only myself, but also our screening programme. I am excited to be part of the BARS council and for the prospects this will offer.

My goal for this year is to expand my knowledge by attending Diabetic Retinopathy Grading Course.






Emma Winfield

BARS Council Member
Emma Winfield

I joined the Somerset DESP team in May 2018 as a support worker after working in palliative and mental health work, I quickly took a keen interest in the role and learned more about retinopathy and diabetic eye care. In December 2020, I was fortunate enough to be promoted and supported through my qualification with the Gloucester Retinal Education Group (GREG) to become a fully qualified Screener/ Grader. I recently completed the OCT in digital Surveillance course which has sparked a real interest for me in OCT work as I am lucky enough to work for a great programme who are working hard to spearhead the way for further OCT involvement in DESP.

As someone who enjoys arts and painting in their spare time, I understand how important a person's sight is to them and the fear that can surround such matters, which makes me proud to be working in a job that can prevent sight loss to people of all ages. I think I could provide a level headed, practical approach to my work as a council member with a little artistic flare thrown in for good measure! I am passionate about the work we do and would love an opportunity to promote diabetic eye care and its future advancements in this wonderful service nationally.






Denise McLoughlin

BARS Council Member
Denise McLoughlin

I have been working in DESP programmes since 2010, and have worked in various roles, starting as a trainee Screener/ Grader and progressing through the years into various clinical and management roles and currently work as the surveillance manager and grading lead within the South East London Diabetic Eye Screening Programme. As part of this role, I was responsible for the implementation of the new OCT pathway and the creation of robust processes to safely manage our M1 and R2 patients within the surveillance pathway. I am an active OCT & ROG level grader, who leads the management of all grading processes and pathways within the programme. I currently lead on the education and development within the clinical team which ties in well with my role as an assessor and IQA for the Health screening diploma.

I am very excited to have the opportunity to join the BARS council. I have various ideas on how to help shape BARS as a platform to bring our national DES colleagues together, with a hope to be the centralised hub for collaboration, sharing of ideas, learning, and success stories. I feel that BARS is well embedded within the screening world, and has the potential to be a key component of shaping screening practices and improvements, with the potential to be used as an educational hub for diabetic eye screening.






Emily Burden

BARS Council Member
Emily Burden

My name is Emily, and I started my career in optics back in 2015 when I joined Specsavers as an apprentice straight out of school. Although I was unsure about what I wanted to do, I was keen on helping people in some way. During my five years at Specsavers, I worked in various roles, including as an in-store trainer. I enjoyed this role as I could help my team improve their knowledge and skills, which helped to provide better service to customers and benefit the business.

Later, I had the opportunity to work at an eye health company called Evolution, which is now known as CHEC. This role allowed me to gain more knowledge about eye health issues such as glaucoma, and I even got to assist at a surgical clinic. I briefly left optics to test if it was the right career for me. However, it didn't take long for me to realize my passion and look for another optics job that was more patient-focused than sales-oriented. That's when I came across an ad for a diabetic eye screening job, and since I had prior experience with this screening while working at Specsavers, I was excited to take on the role.

In April 2022, when the company moved to NEC, I started working there and have been helping patients ever since. I currently produce the company newsletter for Dorset, which is informative yet fun and has been well-received. Recently, I have also taken on other engagement roles for the company, which involves attending events and raising awareness about the importance of screenings for eye health.






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