David A Richards

Field of work

David Richards is an experienced nurse and health services researcher. He is author of more than 270 peer reviewed and professional journal articles, joint editor of the book 'Complex Interventions in Health', and has obtained more than £14m (NOK 167m) in external research funding during his career. He undertakes research into complex healthcare interventions including systematic reviews, pilot and feasibility trials, full scale clinical trials and mixed method studies that integrate experimentally-derived outcomes data with findings from observational qualitative studies.


David is an emeritus Senior Investigator in the UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Faculty. He has been at the forefront of national and international efforts to improve access to treatment for those suffering from high-prevalence mental health problems such as depression, leading the development of the low-intensity treatment methods. He was a Clinical Informatics Advisor to the UK Department of Health from 2008-2011. He has also worked and published extensively on the evidence base for fundamental nursing care. Until recently, he was President of the European Academy of Nursing Science and Head of Nursing at the University of Exeter, UK.



Currently, he is chief investigator of the NIHR funded ‘COVID-NURSE’ cluster randomised controlled clinical trial, evaluating a pandemic-specific clinical nursing protocol used by nurses caring for patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19.


Courses taught

Health Services Research

Fundamental Nursing Care

Clinical Trials

Systematic Reviews

Research Methods


Research areas

Primary care mental health

Fundamental Nursing Care

Low-intensity psychological therapies

Mixed methods research methods

Research groups