Professor Deborah Fitzsimmons
Personal Chair
Public Health, Policy and Social Sciences
Telephone: (01792) 602226

Deb has over 20 years’ experience in health services and outcomes research.  Since 2009 I have developed a growing portfolio of work within the field of health economic evaluation with over 25 projects in my portfolio as Principal Investigator or as lead health economist on large projects with collaborators across UK and Europe.

Her background ensures that she has a broad range of skills and experience in undertaking evaluation and translating evidence to a range of audiences involved in health and social care decision making. Her specialist interests are in cancer and chronic health conditions.  Deb also has a keen interest in public health, particularly dental public health.  Her background in nursing and clinical research ensures that Deb can understand and translate the requirements of real world practice into robust and meaningful evaluation.

Deb has a national and international profile of working with others including NHS health boards/ trusts, other public sector bodies, NICE, Welsh Government, Charities, industry and globally recognised research groups such as her role on the executive of the EORTC Quality of Life Group- a world leading research group in the field of patient-reported outcomes in cancer.

Recently completed work includes being the lead for health economic analysis that was done to model cost-effectiveness of stem cell transplantation  and secondary analysis of the national cancer patient survey to inform information and support needs guidance; recently published in NICE guidance NG52 (management of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma);  lead health economist (working with CEDAR) to support the evidence for NICE Public Health Guidance- NG48- due to be published late 2016) and lead health economist on the Seal and Varnish Trial as part of a major NIHR funded trial in community dental health in school children (expected publication Autumn 2016).

Deb also has  a substantial track record of academic leadership within the College of Human and Health Sciences and University; having been a prior Director of Postgraduate Research (PGR) from 2005- 2009 and Chair of the Research Committee from 2007-2009.   From 2011-2014,  Deb was the Dean of Postgraduate Research (PGR) Students at Swansea University providing academic leadership to the University’s PGR staff and student community, leading a team of 4 Associate Deans and administrative staff.  Deb was part of the University’s research committee and strategic research group, supporting the University REF development for REF2014.

Areas of Expertise

  • Patient Reported Outcome Measurement
  • Cancer care
  • Health economic evaluation
  • Health services research

Publications

  1. et. al. General practitioner use of a C-reactive protein point-of-care test to help target antibiotic prescribing in patients with acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (the PACE study): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials 18(1)
  2. & The LeucoPatch® system in the management of hard-to-heal diabetic foot ulcers: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials 18(1)
  3. & Assessing the medium-term impact of a home-visiting programme on child maltreatment in England: protocol for a routine data linkage study. BMJ Open 7(7), e015728
  4. & Developing core economic outcome sets for asthma studies: a protocol for a systematic review. BMJ Open 7(8), e017054
  5. & Evaluation of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of lightweight fibreglass heel casts in the management of ulcers of the heel in diabetes: a randomised controlled trial. Health Technology Assessment 21(34), 1-92.

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Teaching

  • SHBM00 Social, Cultural and Economic Context of Health

    In this module students will develop a critical understanding and appreciation of the wider context of health care management. The social, cultural and economic context within which health and illness are defined and experienced and how these impact and influence the organisation and financing of health care and health systems will be critically explored.

  • SHBM02 Economic Evaluation in Health Care

    The module will provide a comprehensive introduction to the key principles of heath economics, health care financing, health technology assessment, burden of disease, the principles, methods and application of outcomes research and economic evaluation to health care decision making. Students should develop a critical understanding and appreciation of the methods of economic evaluation and how health economics can be used to support prioritisation within the wider context of competing demands for health care treatments or services.

  • SHGM17 Public Health Evidence and Epidemiology

    This module will prepare students for their role in relation to Public Health and Health Promotion Practice to enable them to critically analyse the quality of the research epidemiological evidence that underpins their particular perspective be it a generic/specific role in Public Health and Health Promotion.

  • SHGM35 Foundations in Public Health and Primary Health Care

    The module is designed to develop knowledge and skills in public health practice and primary health care. Underpinning concepts and approaches to public health practice and the role of public health in primary health care will be critically examined. Collaborative ways of working between sectors will be explored within the above context in order that students can plan and evaluate strategies for the improvement of health of individuals, groups and local populations.

  • SHGM40 Partnerships, Public Health and Epidemiology

    Current approaches to the measurement of health and the surveillance of health within populations will be studied together with needs assessment and planning. The influence of a range of social, political, economic and cultural influences including globalization on public health will be evaluated.

  • SHP208 Health and Economics

    This module will provide an introduction to economic theory and the role of economics in health care. It will consider issues of scarcity and choice; markets and market failure; efficiency and equity; consumer and provider behaviour; outputs and outcomes in health care and economic evaluation. This module aims to outline the role of economic appraisal in decision making in health care. It will highlight the importance of economics in determining how and where to utilize limited resources. Students will be introduced to techniques of economic evaluation. Students will be able to discuss the basic principles of economics and how resources are allocated; they will be able to present and discuss concept of welfare economics; they will be able to demonstrate an appreciation of the techniques and relevance of economic evaluation.

  • SHP358 Public Health and Epidemiology

    Current approaches to the measurement of health and the surveillance of health within populations will be studied together with needs assessment and planning. The influence of a range of social, political , economic and cultural influences including globalization on public health will be evaluated. The module is designed to develop knowledge and skills in public health practice and primary health care. Underpinning concepts and approaches to public health practice and the role of public health in primary health care will be critically examined. Collaborative ways of working between sectors will be explored within the above context in order that students can plan and evaluate strategies for the improvement of health of individuals, groups and local populations.

Supervision

  • 'The Extent to Which Cell Salvage Can Support Patient Blood Management' (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Ceri Phillips
    Other supervisor: Prof Deborah Fitzsimmons
  • The effect of work-based facilitation in clinical reasoning on outcome and cost-effectiveness in musculo-skeletal physiotherapy. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Ceri Phillips
    Other supervisor: Prof Deborah Fitzsimmons
    Other supervisor: Dr Ceri Rushton
  • The Impact of Cancer Rehabilitation for Person, Community and Health Service in South Wales (current)

    Student name:
    DProf
    Other supervisor: Prof Deborah Fitzsimmons
    Other supervisor: Prof Jaynie Rance
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Michael Coffey
    Other supervisor: Prof Deborah Fitzsimmons
  • Developing a novel psychosocial intervention for patients receiving Osteopathic treatment for Chronic Pain (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Jaynie Rance
    Other supervisor: Dr Helen Davies
    Other supervisor: Dr Darren Edwards
    Other supervisor: Prof Deborah Fitzsimmons
  • Barriers and Facilitators of Cancer Rehabilitation Services and Support in Wales from the perspective of Patients' experiences (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Tessa Watts
    Other supervisor: Prof Deborah Fitzsimmons
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Ceri Phillips
    Other supervisor: Prof Deborah Fitzsimmons
  • 'Grasping the Nettle and enduring the Pain: Healthcare priority setting and Disinvestment in the context of prudent Healthcare' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Ceri Phillips
    Other supervisor: Prof Deborah Fitzsimmons
  • ''An overview of the impact of divergence from the optimal care pathway for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease '' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    MPhil
    Other supervisor: Prof Deborah Fitzsimmons
    Other supervisor: Prof Ceri Phillips

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Dean of Postgraduate Research - Swansea University

    2011 - Present

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2014 Present Personal Chair (Professor of Health Outcome Research) College of Human and Health Science, Swansea University
2011 2014 Reader Swansea University
2004 2011 Senior Lecturer in Clinical Research (Nursing) Swansea University
2001 2004 Lecturer in Cancer Nursing University of Southampton
1998 2001 Research Fellow School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Southampton
1995 1998 Research Nurse Cancer Sciences Division , School of Medicine, University of Southampton
1994 1995 Staff Nurse posts in Oncology Velindre NHS Trust & Southampton University Hospital NHS Trust

External Responsibilities

Research Groups

  • Academic Director, Swansea Centre for Health Economics

    Swansea Centre for Health Economics (SCHE) at Swansea University, delivers a first class research and consultancy service to organisations in the healthcare sector. With over 60 years of experience and a team of health economic experts, SCHE aims to bridge the gap between academia and industry and be the leaders in health economics research in Wales and the UK.