Skip to main content

Akhtar and Tim take on exciting new national roles in AAA screening

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: NHS Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening Programme

I am pleased to announce the appointment of  2 new clinical leads for the NHS Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening Programme: National Surgical Lead Akhtar Nasim and National Imaging Lead Tim Hartshorne.

Their appointments follow the retirement of Jonothan Earnshaw, who oversaw the implementation of the national programme as its first clinical lead from 2009.

Man on the left, Akhtar Nasim, next to quote saying: "There are exciting challenges ahead."

Akhtar graduated from Aberdeen University in 1990 and trained as a vascular surgeon in Leicester. As a trainee surgeon, he was one of the pioneers of endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) in the UK and helped set up the EVAR programme in Leicester. He was appointed as a consultant vascular surgeon in 2001, working at South Manchester University Hospitals Trust before moving back to Leicester in 2005.

He has extensive surgical experience of both open and EVAR surgery and has published extensively on AAA repair in peer reviewed journals. His other interest is in undergraduate education and he has contributed significantly to the Leicester Medical School. In recognition of this he was awarded Associate Professorship in Medical Education by University of Leicester in 2016.

Akhtar helped set up the AAA screening programme in Leicestershire, which was one of the early implementer sites in England in 2009. His leadership roles have included being the head of service in the Leicester Vascular Unit from 2013 to 2016 and chair of the East Midlands Vascular Advisory Group since 2016.

He said:

I am very pleased to be joining the national team. There are exciting challenges ahead with regard to programme optimisation, tackling inequalities, and developing strategies to better address the cardiovascular disease risk factors in men under surveillance.

Man on the left, Tim Hartshorne, next to quote saying: "I am delighted to be continuing my association with the national team in this new role."

Tim works as Chief Clinical Vascular Scientist at University Hospitals, Leicester. He has more than 30 years’ experience working in vascular ultrasound and has published a leading text book on the subject.

He has been heavily involved with the local Leicestershire AAA programme where he has been the quality assurance and clinical skills trainer lead. He has also provided expert ultrasound advice to the national programme since its roll-out.

Tim published research into the reliability of the inner-to-inner wall method of aortic diameter measurement that is used by the screening programme and endorsed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

In his new role, one of the many things he will be focusing on is the assessment and measurement of ultrasound image quality.

He said:

I am delighted to be continuing my association with the national team in this new role.  It is a real pleasure working with the team. Among a number of exciting projects, I am particularly looking forward to reviewing and updating guidance on the assessment of ultrasound image quality. I am also looking forward to meeting more local screening teams in this new position.

PHE Screening blogs

PHE Screening blogs provide up to date news from all NHS screening programmes. You can register to receive updates direct to your inbox, so there’s no need to keep checking for new blogs. If you have any questions about this blog article, or about population screening in England, please contact the PHE screening helpdesk.

Sharing and comments

Share this page


  1. Comment by Sam Ellicott posted on

    Welcome to Aktar and Tim
    With every good wish in your new roles with the National AAA Screening Programme.
    Sam Ellicott
    Vice Chairman and Patient Representative
    NHS AAA Screening Programme Advisory Board

    • Replies to Sam Ellicott>

      Comment by Akhtar Nasim posted on

      Thank you Sam. Look forward to working with you and others involved, to ensure continued excellence in the delivery of AAA screening. Regards. Akhtar Nasim