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.

Liz WilkinsonPresident
Dr Elizabeth Wilkinson

Dr Elizabeth Wilkinson trained at Cambridge, St Thomas's, Exeter and Moorfields Eye Hospital firstly as a physician then as an ophthalmologist and is now a Medical Ophthalmologist back in sunny Devon. She has been involved in Diabetic Eye Screening since 2009, is currently Clinical Lead of the Diabetic Eye Screening Service in Devon and Vice Chair of The National Diabetic Eye Screening Advisory Board. She set up the National Diabetic Eye Screening Conference in conjunction with Public Health England in 2011 which is held at the Royal Society of Medicine. She was the second female President of Ophthalmology at the Royal Society of Medicine.

She is truly honoured to have been asked to be BARS President and is very much looking forward to the next 3 years.







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 & Webmaster
Richard Bell

I am a senior medical photographer based at 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 41 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 in March 2019 I completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Clinical Photography at Cardiff University.  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 started my career in 1999 as a medical photographer and gained my BSc in Medical Illustration. I was the student representative on the Institute of Medical Illustrators during my study. I moved into retinal screening for the Dorset programme in 2004 as I wanted a more diagnostic role which involved medical imaging. I am now the senior grader for the Dorset programme where I am also the assessor the Health Screeners Diploma. I have a few other roles which include being a peer reviewer for the national team, a member of the Grading College and I sit on the Screening Interval Implementation Group. My passion is for research and I have authored and presented a number of research projects at national and international conferences. I am particularly interested in the prison population, pregnant patients and the use of insulin pumps and education. My most recent collaboration is with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to develop MOOC (massive open online course) for screening for diabetic retinopathy. I love working with like-minded, enthusiastic people and am looking forward to working on the BARS council.                        




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.  






Karen Whitehouse

Co-opted Member - Education & Training
Karen Whitehouse

I have worked in Diabetic Eye Screening for 13 years; prior to this I was the Head of Medical Illustration at Heartlands. I am the Education Manager for the Birmingham, Solihull, and Black Country DESP training staff at all levels from England, Ireland and Scotland.  We have also trained staff from all over the world, from USA to Australia and in addition I have provided peer to peer overseas training to staff in Ethiopia, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. 
Our department is an awarding centre for the Health Screener Qualification, of which I am the Lead IQA and Centre Manager and I am on the AQA/IQA group. 
I am still a senior grader to DS ROG level, and also an accredited research photographer. I am the Education Co-ordinator for BARS.






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.






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.






Samantha CreamerCouncil Member
Samantha Creamer

I am currently employed by NHS Tayside as Diabetic Eye Screening Manager. My career with the NHS started back in 1997 where I started out as an IT Manager for a large Tayside GP Practice, moving on to the role as Practice Manager in 2006. During my time in General Practice, I did some regular freelance training for InPS Vision (a GP clinical database system). In 2014, I moved over to Secondary care, working for a short spell as Quality and Service Manager in Primary Care Services, this involved contractual work with GP's, Dentists, Pharmacists and Optometrists and then finally moving over to Diabetic Retinal Screening in December 2015.

My education includes a BA (Hons) in Commerce and two Post Graduate Qualifications; one in Information Technology and the other Healthcare Information Governance. I.T. has always been my passion, and I am particularly interested in electronic systems and less paper!
I am looking forward to working with the members of BARS and would like to thank everyone for this opportunity.




Robert HancockCouncil Member
Robert Hancock

I initially started working as a Screener/Grader in 2007 for Central Mersey DESP. During my time here I worked up to the level of arbitration grader and I also helped with training other members of staff from other programmes across the country. I went on to be trained in general Ophthalmic photography and developed a real interest in this area of work.

I now work for Wirral University Teaching Hospitals as a Senior Ophthalmic Photographer and Team Leader where I run the digital surveillance clinics for Wirral DESP, alongside the clinical lead, using OCT to monitor these patients. I am also involved in writing local pathway protocols for this service. I am looking forward in sharing my experience on the BARS Council.




Joe ScottStudent/Trainee Council Member
Joe Scott

I am currently employed as a trainee screener/grader with the Doncaster DESP as well as recently adding failsafe support into my role. I am working through the level 3 health screener Diploma and am making great progress.

Being elected the first ever student council member is very exciting and am looking forward to making the most of a great opportunity.




Kasey MitchellCouncil Member
Kasey Mitchell

I am recently new to the world of eyes as a medical photographer technician 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.




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.




Emmeline WebbCo-opted Member
Emmeline Webb

I joined Doncaster & Bassetlaw DESP in May 2017 as a Screener/Photographer. Since then, I have qualified as a Screener/Grader within Doncaster DESP. In 2018, I was awarded the BARS Conference bursary place which enabled me to be the first person to ever attend the BARS conference within my department.

My time at the conference made me realise the importance and magnitude of Diabetic Eye Screening, and I loved speaking to individuals who worked within this field who were passionate about their roles and the service they provide. BARS Conference changed my view on screening and made me realise the importance of my role. I am very passionate about learning/developing new and existing skills and knowledge within all aspects of screening, and therefore I'm extremely grateful to be given the opportunity to join the BARS council.




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