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Mark Belham MD FRCP

Having completed my cardiology specialist training in the West Midlands I was appointed as consultant cardiologist and head of echocardiography at the Royal Cornwall NHS Trust in 2003. During my time with the department we built an excellent team with high standards. In 2008 I moved to Cambridge University NHS Foundation Trust as consultant cardiologist and head of echocardiography. I was appointed in order to improve the department and provide a service suitable for a leading teaching hospital. Over the last 15 years, with the help of those around me, I have been able to establish a comprehensive and well respected echocardiography service. The department has a full range of complex echocardiography at a very high quality that attracts secondary and tertiary referrals from around the region. An in-house training and accreditation program for competence in echocardiography has been devised that ensures staff (doctors and physiologists) receive appropriate teaching, build their confidence and that quality is maintained at a high standard (The department has an almost 100% pass rate for the British Society of Echocardiography [BSE] accreditation exam and has BSE departmental accreditation for training). There are dedicated echocardiography teaching sessions for the department. Quality assurance is maintained within a framework that includes regular (interval) formal assessment, a continuous evaluation of unselected echocardiographic studies, inter- and intra- observer variability evaluation and regular service audit.

 

In early 2022 I was appointed to the British Society of Echocardiography education committee. My responsibilities include being the Chair of the organising committee for the joint British and Irish annual echocardiography meetings (BSE/ICE) 2023 - 2025. Being part of the BSE education committee has allowed me to be involved in the development of guidelines and enabled me to advise on training of the next generation of echocardiographers. In my position as Chair of the BSE/ICE 2023 organising committee I have been able to work with the BSE central administration team as well as with fellow echo enthusiasts from Northern Ireland, Southern Ireland and the mainland; a real joy of an experience.

 

In late 2022 I set up Echo Quality Solutions Limited with my business partner Mr Keith Fryer. Together we have combined our enthusiasm and expertise in business and echocardiography to be able to provide independent high quality solutions for any echocardiography need that a client may have. In addition to delivering high volume quality assured echocardiograms (standard and complex; performed by fully accredited echocardiographers) we are able to provide training and clinical governance to organisations that is tailored to their specified requirements and based on a long track record of success.

Accreditation

British Society of Echocardiography Accreditation Transthoracic Echocardiography

  • First awarded 2001

  • Valid until 31/12/2026

British Society of Echocardiography Accreditation Transoesophageal Echocardiography

  • First awarded 2007

  • Valid until 30/6/2027

Publications

Textbooks

  • Transesophageal Echocardiography in Clinical Practice. 2009 (ISBN 978-1-84882-620-5)

National/International guidelines

  • Echocardiography in pregnancy: a practical guideline from the British Society of Echocardiography. Echo Res Pract 2023

 

 

Website contributions

  • Echocardiography in cryptogenic stroke patients. EACVI (ESC) Wikiecho 2012

 

Scientific papers

  • Sinus Tachycardia: A Multidisciplinary Expert Focused Review. Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology 2022

 

  • Maternal left ventricular function and adverse neonatal outcomes in women with cardiac disease. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2022

 

  • Pregnancy-related inappropriate sinus tachycardia: A cohort analysis of maternal and fetal outcomes. Obstetric Medicine 2021

  • The anaesthetist as cardiologist: A case of heart block identified in the peripartum period. Int J Obstet Anesth. 2020

  • Inappropriate sinus tachycardia in pregnancy: A benign phenomenon? BMJ case rep 2017

  • The vanishing atrial mass. EHJCimaging 2016 

  • Incidence of Atrial Fibrillation detected by Implantable Loop Recorders in unexplained Stroke. Neurology 2013 

  • Unusual cause of right heart compression. Cardiology Journal 2012

  • Towards Understanding the Cause of Stroke in Young Adults Utilising a New Stroke Classification System (A-S-C-O). Cerebrovascular Dis 2012 

  • Etiologic investigation of ischemic stroke in young adults. Neurology 2011

  • Interrupted aorta in mosaic Turner syndrome. Cardiology Journal 2011

  • Towards understanding the Atrial Septum in Cryptogenic Stroke. Int J Stroke 2011 

  • Increased incidence of Inter-atrial Block in Younger Adults with Cryptogenic Stroke and PFO. Cerebrovasc Dis Extra 2011 

  • Improved sensitivity of transthoracic contrast echo in the detection of right-to-left shunts. JASE 2010 

  • Stroke in Younger Patients: The Heart of the Matter. A Review. Neurol 2010

  • Aneurysm of the sinus of Valsalva. Cardiology Journal 2010

  • Monitoring left ventricular function in adults receiving anthracycline-containing chemotherapy. Eu J Heart Failure 2007 

  • A case of primary cardiac lymphoma: analysis of the role of echocardiography in early diagnosis. Echocardiography 2007

  • The Tei index identifies a differential effect on left and right ventricular function with low dose anthracycline chemotherapy. JASE 2006

  • Coronary vasospasm during an adenosine stress test. International Journal of Cardiology 2006

  • The electromechanical effects of pacing at different sites within the right atrium. Europace 2002

Invited Lectures

  • Echocardiography in pregnancy: Normal physiology and valve disease. British Society of Echocardiography annual scientific meeting 2022 (Faculty member)

 

  • Echocardiography in pregnancy: Practical advice for the general cardiologist. British Cardiac Society annual scientific meeting 2022 (Faculty member)

 

  • Peripartum Cardiomyopathy. British Cardiac Society annual scientific meeting 2015 (Faculty member)

 

  • The investigation of Young Patients with Brain Infarcts. Heart Rhythm UK annual scientific meeting 2011

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