Dr David Rea
Associate Professor - Head of Department
Public Health, Policy and Social Sciences
Telephone: (01792) 295316
Room: Office - 139
First Floor
Haldane Building
Singleton Campus

I have been Head of the Department of Public Health, Policy, and Social Sciences since 2011. The Department is home to a multi-disciplinary team of staff whose work contributes to increasing the health and social care workforce as competent and effective practitioners, and fostering academic expertise to enhance knowledge, policy and practice through teaching and research and critical thinking. It brings together experts in health and social care, social work, social policy, psychology, public health, management, and change, whose work reflects shared principles of promoting social justice, equality, diversity as a basis for improving human well-being.

The Department has over 40 PhD students currently. The department also runs eight MAs/MSc programmes, several qualifying programmes in public health nursing and social work, and two undergraduate programmes in social policy and health and social care. Many of our students come from overseas. The department also has strong links with the University of Houston, Texas and with Diaconia University of Applied Sciences, Finland.

Prior to being Head of Department, I led the MSc Health Care Management at Swansea which recruits students from the UK and internationally. I taught in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore. I have supervised many MSc students, and several PhD students through to completion.

My own PhD was from the University of Kent. My thesis looked at power within health care, and the emergence of management within health care delivery. As a post-doc, I worked at Manchester School of Management, UMIST, on a project investigating the early creation activity-based costing systems and their use in reconstructing organizations and relationships. My interest in power has more recently led me to research the relative lack of power that service users have in the organization and management of services.

I have been involved in promoting and enabling good practice in patient involvement in clinical research. I am currently involved in a review of the integration of health and social care, with a focus on identifiable health benefits.

I am an experienced qualitative researcher familiar with a variety of empirical methods: interviews, focus groups, non-participant observation, and documentary analysis.

Areas of Expertise

  • Health Care Management
  • Health Care Quality Improvement
  • Service Delivery and Organisation
  • Service user involvement in research
  • Patient empowerment and participation
  • Consumer Involvement
  • Patient safety


  1. Davies, A., Rea, D. A Critical Discourse Analysis of Constructions of Power by Healthcare Leaders London Sage
  2. Korani, M., Rea, D., King, P., Brown, A., King, P. Maternal eating behaviour differs between ethnic groups: Considerations for research and practice Maternal & Child Nutrition 14 4 e12630
  3. Korani, M., Rea, D., King, P., Brown, A., Rea, D., Brown, A. Significant differences in maternal child-feeding style between ethnic groups in the UK: the role of deprivation and parenting styles Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics
  4. Carnes-Chichlowska, S., Burholt, V., Rea, D. The Integrated Care Evaluation Framework (ICE-F): A Realistic Evaluation of Integrated Health and Social Care Services in Wales Cardiff Welsh Government Social Research
  5. Evans, B., Bedson, E., Bell, P., Hutchings, H., Lowes, L., Rea, D., Seagrove, A., Siebert, S., Smith, G., Snooks, H., Thomas, M., Thorne, K., Russell, I. Involving service users in trials: developing a standard operating procedure Trials 14 1 219

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  • SHQM22 Dissertation (Health Care Management)

    Students will choose their own area of study, in consultation with study supervisor, and in accordance with the aims of the award. Students will be encouraged to attempt a project-based, business-planning project while maintaining high academic standards in their research. However, students may also opt for a more theoretical exploration of an area of relevance to health care and health care management. The dissertation comprises Part Two of the MSc programme.

  • SHQM27 Politics and Policies

    This module is a compulsory module in the MSc Health Care Management programme. It will analyse the forces and processes that shape modern health care policies, discussing the phases of policy formation, implementation and evaluation. Theories and models of the policy making process will be examined as they relate to actual practice and the potential obstacles to `perfect implementation¿ will be studied. A series of contemporary issues such as rationing, patient and public involvement, and policy divergence after devolution will be discussed.

  • SHQM37 Organising Health Care

    The aim of the module is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing strategic and operational planning in health and social care. The module is concerned with the theory of strategic planning and the concepts that underpin resource allocation in health and social care. It is increasingly difficult to claim that strategic planning is a distinctively different process in the public sector compared with the private sector, and any differences in philosophy and process will be explored and examined. The module will emphasise how ideology, politics, value systems and resource constraints pose particularly challenging issues in the development, formation and implementation of strategic plans in health care. The module will also deal with resource allocation mechanisms in the public sector, in particular the relationship between allocation of resources to that of meeting objectives related to addressing inequalities in health status and service provision.

  • SHQM40 Social, Cultural and Economic Context of Health

    In this compulsory 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.

  • SHQM43 Theory and Practice of Leadership and Management in Health and Social Care

    This module will enable students to develop a critical understanding of management and leadership in the context of health and social care. The module will have a dual focus on theoretical perspectives and applied health care management. Theoretical perspectives will be drawn from business, health and further afield, to examine their application within health and social care and the public sector. Contemporary health and social care examples will be used as points for discussion and learning.


  • Analysing healthcare reform in Turkey: a managerial perspective (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Alexandra Sardani
  • Exploring the relationship between patient safety, patient satifaction and quality assurance within Kuwait Healthcare (current)

    Other supervisor: Prof David Hughes
  • Challenges in consolidating and protecting universal health care coverage in Malaysia. (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Alison Hann
    Other supervisor: Prof David Hughes
    Other supervisor: Dr Gillian Spedding
  • Obstacles and challenges affecting the move towards universal healthcare coverage in Nigeria (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Ian Beech
  • A Tale of Two Cities:«br /» «br /» An international comparison of the impact of «br /» social work education on students' knowledge of, «br /» and attitudes towards, «br /» disability.«br /» (current)

    Other supervisor: Prof Fiona Verity
  • Improvement capability of the Ministry of Health hospitals in Saudi Arabia: An investigation into the influencing factors for readiness and sustainability of improvement initiatives «br /»«br /»«br /»«br /» (current)

    Other supervisor: Prof Nicholas Rich
    Other supervisor: Prof Sharon Williams
  • «br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /» Trios not Duets; Harmonising Citizen, Professional and Organisational Voices in social work supervision«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /» (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Tracey Maegusuku-Hewett
    Other supervisor: Dr Tracey Maegusuku-Hewett
  • The Impact of Organisational Socialisation on Employee Performance and Retention at the Emergency Departments of Omani Hospitals. (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Stephanie Best
    Other supervisor: Prof Sharon Williams
  • The effects of the Crown Plan on health care delivery in Saudi Arabia (current)

    Other supervisor: Prof Sharon Williams
  • Identifying and Assessing Senior Healthcare Managers' Competencies in the Saudi Arabian Sector. (current)

    Other supervisor: Dr Stephanie Best
    Other supervisor: Prof Sharon Williams
  • The Role of Organisational Culture in Change Initiatives: A Study Conducted in the Saudi Public Healthcare Sector (awarded 2019)

    Other supervisor: Prof David Hughes
  • An exploration of professional and parental experience of cultural differences in childhood obesity in the UK (awarded 2019)

    Other supervisor: Prof Amy Brown
  • 'Comparative Study of the Implementation of Regional Health Plans in Oman' (awarded 2019)

    Other supervisor: Prof David Hughes
  • An evaluation of factors influencing Kuwait's health care quality strategy: proposal for a new integrated model (awarded 2018)

    Other supervisor: Prof John Gammon

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Head of Department of Public Health and Policy Studies - Department of Public Health and Policy Studies, Swansea University

    2011 - Present

External Responsibilities

  • Member, representing Cynnwys Pobl : Involving People, UKCRC – Patient and Public Participation Forum

    2007 - 2010

  • Member of Operational Steering Group and Portfolio Group, Clinical Research Collaboration – Cymru

    2007 - 2010

Key Grants and Projects

  • Cynnwys Pobl : Involving People 2007 - 2010

    Associate Director , with C. Porteous, WORD

  • Scoping Exercise (WORD) to demonstrate need for a research network on Patient and Public Involvement 2005 - 2005

    , with L. Griffiths, WORD

  • Rural provision of service delivery models for elderly people with mental health problems. 2004 - 2004

    , Powys Health Authority

Research Groups

  • MHRNC – SDO Group

    MHRNC – SDO Group