David is a nurse leader with over 30 years experience in mental health. Since 2002 he has worked as a senior nurse in Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS FT combining clinical, research and leadership roles. David has a strong commitment and passion for improving the access of people to psychological interventions for common mental health disorders. He has been an accredited Cognitive Behavioural therapist since 1997 and led large teams of therapists in both Southampton and County Durham. His current role combines being the Clinical Director for Research and Development alongside the delivery of a number of large scale research projects.
Alongside clinical leadership, David has developed a research portfolio aimed at testing new innovative approaches to improving access to high quality psychological interventions. This has established his reputation as a nurse who is a leader in research, signified by his contribution to a number of national policy and guidance committees for the Department of Health and NICE. David is the Mental Health Speciality Lead for the Clinical Research Network in the North East and North Cumbria. He has contributed to NICE guideline committees on depression and common mental health disorders.
David is recognised internationally as an expert on Behavioural Activation for Depression. Behavioural Activation (BA) is a psychological approach attracting considerable attention due to its potential for cost effective dissemination. His research is highly cited both within the UK and internationally and has led the way in developing the evidence base to support such dissemination. He was the chief investigator of an initial proof of principle randomised controlled trial that was the first to investigate the delivery of BA by non specialist therapists. That study directly informed the design of three large multi centre NIHR HTA funded studies. Findings of these studies are now published in high impact journals and are informing NICE guidance and clinical practice. David is the Chief Investigator of the Multi-Morbidity in Older Adults (MODS) research programme and led the Community Pharmacy Mood Intervention Study (CHEMIST), both funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR).
David currently focuses on primary care mental health research at University of York. In particular his interest is improving access to psychological treatments of anxiety and depression.