Mr Mark Sheldon BSocSc

Institute of Applied Health Research
Research Associate

Contact details

Rm 248, Murray Learning Centre
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Mark's current role as a Research Associate primarily consists of supporting the British Heart Foundation with the production of key statistics and analysis. The British Heart Foundation is the nation's heart charity and the largest independent funder of cardiovascular research. They collect the most comprehensive statistics on the effects, prevention, treatment, costs and causes of cardiovascular disease in the UK

He has previously worked as a JSNA Officer and Knowledge Exchange Facilitator at the University, a role which combined working in a local authority public health information team, with researching epidemiology and health geography in the Institute of Applied Health Research at the University of Birmingham.

 He has a wealth of experience in data analysis following a number of roles across various public sector organisations including the NHS, local government and the regulatory sector.


BSocSc (Hons) in Public Policymaking and Administration, University of Birmingham, 1997


Mark has a wealth of experience from working in a number of analytical roles across various public sector organisations including the NHS, local government and the regulatory sector.

Following 9 years working as an analyst for the water regulator (OFWAT), Mark began working in the health sector in 2008 in an analytical role supporting Wolverhampton's Substance Misuse Commissioning Team. This involved regular analysis and interpretation of information around substance misuse in Wolverhampton to inform the commissioning of services.

Mark continued to work in the area of substance misuse when he moved to Birmingham's Drug and Alcohol Action Team, again undertaking a primarily analytical role to support the commissioning of substance misuse services.

He joined the Department of Public Health at the University of Birmingham 2012 in the role of JSNA Officer and Knowledge Exchange Facilitator. This involved supporting the development of the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) of the health and well-being of the population of Worcestershire on behalf of Worcestershire County Council and NHS Worcestershire.

As part of this role Mark also facilitated a public health knowledge exchange partnership between Worcestershire County Council and the University of Birmingham.

He has particular expertise in the area of substance misuse, but has also worked on the subjects of obesity, physical activity and domestic abuse.

As part of these analytical roles Mark has produced a number of needs assessments and service evaluations that have helped to shape the commissioning of NHS and local government services.

Mark is currently involved in a project using network analysis techniques in Geographical Information Systems to map the ‘walkability’ of certain areas.

He also has experience of using discrete event simulation software to better understand the Adult Social Care system in Worcestershire.


Mark is particularly interested in health geography i.e.  visual and spatial epidemiology, and the use of GIS. Current work around ‘walkability’ examines, topographically, how easy is it to access a large area in a short walk, are there public transport transit points to access within walking distance, and are there amenities nearby that someone would want to access.


Worcestershire County Council Public Health Team (2014) ‘Substance Misuse Needs Assessment’

Rudge G, Sheldon M, Jenkinson D, & Howie F. (2015)     'Alcohol specific hospital admission in under-age drinkers and neighbourhood alcohol retail environment: A geospatial analysis set in central England' Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 2015;69:A72 doi:10.1136/jech-2015-206256.143

Worcestershire County Council Public Health Team (2016) ‘Domestic Abuse and Violence Needs Assessment’

British Heart Foundation (2018) ‘Cardiovascular Disease Statistics 2018’

British Heart Foundation (2018) ‘The CVD Challenge in the UK’