Educated at Dalziel High School and the University of Southampton, Barker worked for Age Concern between 1983 and 2007. She was made a life peer as Baroness Barker, of Anagach in Highland, in 1999 and is a Liberal Democrat spokesperson on health matters.
Barker is an open lesbian.
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- Who's Who 2008: London, A & C Black, 2008 ISBN 978-0-7136-8555-8
- Debrett's People of Today London, Debrett's, 2008 ISBN 978-1-870520-95-9
- http://thepeerage.com/p13201.htm thePeerage.com
- London Gazette 55574 startpage=8517 6 August 1999