Ms Shirley Burnett

Retinal Screening Programme Manager

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Work Areas

Shirley’s achievements in these various areas have been recognised by her being invited to special appointments and responsibilities. She is the Lead for the Health Action Zone Project to develop a digital retinal photography service for patients with diabetes attending The Whittington, University College and Royal Free Hospitals. She is the Chair of the Local Diabetes Advisory IT Subgroup. She has been elected to Council Member of the British Association of Retinal Screeners (BARS). She is also a member of the NoCTeN Network Training and Development Group Committee.

Shirley enjoys the variety of her job. She has learnt an enormous amount from working with colleagues involved in a number of different areas of diabetes research. Her job continues to develop and she is currently doing a post graduate certificate in Health Informatics at UCL.


Shirley qualified as a State Registered Nurse at St Thomas’ Hospital, London and has a BA from Middlesex University. She worked in cardiovascular research at The Royal Free Hospital and then joined The Whittington Hospital in 1989. She came to take up a research post with Professor John Yudkin and developed a district diabetes register for Islington and South Haringey.

Shirley’s job encompasses many different activities. She is the Lead Co-ordinator for the Community Optometry Diabetic Eye Screening Programme. In this role, she promotes the scheme to local GPs and patients, she organises the accreditation courses for optometrists and retinal photographers, she conducts audit and publishes research papers on the scheme and she is also involved in the day to day administration work. Shirley manages the Diabetes Shared Care Team and is therefore also involved in the Prompted Community Diabetes Care Scheme.

Shirley is involved in various projects to improve patient care, particularly through improving the links between hospital and GP care. She collaborated on the writing of ‘Guidelines for the Management of Diabetes in Primary Care’. She is involved in IT developments, including standardising the recording of clinical diabetes data between hospital and GP practice. She also runs various education and training courses in diabetes and has been an invited speaker at local education events.

Working on it!