Dr Sally Ruane

Job: Reader in Social Policy – Director of Health Policy Research Unit

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Applied Social Sciences

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH.

T: +44 (0) 116 207 8732

E: sruane@dmu.ac.uk

W: www.dmu.ac.uk/hpru


Personal profile

Dr Sally Ruane has worked at De Montfort University since 1992, contributing to a number of postgraduate and undergraduate courses. She is currently Director of the Health Policy Research Unit, Doctoral Training Programme Lead in Applied Social Sciences and programme leader for the Masters in Research.

Dr Ruane's research activity in recent years has included health service reconfiguration, the private finance initiative, political opposition to privatisation in health care and taxation. She has strong links with colleagues in Spain and has given lectures and presentations at Spanish universities, conferences and workshops.

Dr Ruane has a keen interest in the future of the health service, including political aspects of health service reform, and she is happy to speak at public meetings and to groups of non-specialists who would like to know more about changes in the health service.

Research group affiliations

  • Health Policy Research Unit
  • Centre for Reproduction Research

Publications and outputs 

Click here for a full listing of Sally Ruane's publications and outputs.

Research interests/expertise

  • Health service reform
  • Health service reconfiguration
  • Taxation 
  • Political aspects of, and alternative approaches to, health service reform
  • Public private partnerships 
  • Private Finance Initiative

  • Faculty Research and Innovation Committee member
  • School of Applied Social Sciences Research Committee member
  • University Research Training Committee, deputy delegate
  • REF coordinator Unit of Assessment 20
  • Applied Social Sciences Doctoral Training Programme Lead

Areas of teaching

  • Health Policy
  • Globalisation and health
  • Postgraduate dissertation supervision
  • PhD supervision


  • BA (Hons) Sociology and Social Policy (Dunelm) 1981
  • MA Latin American Studies (Liverpool) 1984
  • PhD Sociology and Social Policy – Adoption talk and the social construction of motherhood (Dunelm) 1991

Courses taught

  • Applied Social Sciences Doctoral Training Programme
  • MA Applied Health Studies
  • Masters in Research
  • BA (Hons) Health Studies

Membership of external committees

Conference attendance

(2017) The welfare state and the Christian response to reform. Nottingham RC Diocesan Justice and Peace Annual Assembly. Derby, November.

(2017) Taxation and the Middle Class - evidence from UK households and the political implications of taxation for welfare, ESPAnet annual conference, Lisbon. September. With D Byrne.

(2017) How ‘public’ authorities keep the public at bay: public engagement with NHS ‘reform’, Dilemmas in Human Services annual conference, LSHTM, London. September

(2016) Privatización en el Sistema Nacional de Salud Británico, XXXIV Congreso de la FADSP -III Jornades de Salut d' ACDESA-PV, Castellón, Spain. November.

(2016) El impacto de la Iniciativa Privada de Financiación en el sector sanitario en el Reino Unido, European Conference in Defence of Public Health, Vigo, Spain. October.

(2016) ‘Public views of fairness and the UK tax system’. Annual conference of the Social Policy Association, Belfast 2016.

(2016) Logros y fracasos de las campanas contra la privatización del Sistema Nacional de Salud en Inglaterra. Keynote Speaker, Annual Conference of FADSP, Santander. February.

(2016) Cuts and closures in the NHS, Health Campaigners Together Conference, London. January.

(2015) Large scale reconfiguration in the NHS: challenging the evidence base, NHS in Crisis conference, London. December.

(2014) The distribution of the UK tax burden 1977-2011/12, Annual Conference of the Social Policy Association, Sheffield. July.

(2013) The political economy of taxation in the 21st century UK. With David Byrne. Annual Conference of the Social Policy Association, Sheffield University. July.

(2013) Exclusion and inequality in the new English health system, Key speaker at a health conference in the national Congress of Deputies, Madrid, at the invitation of Gaspar Llamazares MP. February.

(2013) Costs, cuts and inflexibility in the UK Private Finance Initiative, Key speaker at a conference on health in the Regional Parliamentary, Madrid, at the invitation of the Gaspar Llamazares MP. February.

(2013) The 2012 Health and Social Care Act: the end of the NHS as we know it?, lecture to the Leicester Secular Society. January.

(2012) Key proposals and implications of the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, fringe meeting, UCU national Congress, Manchester, June.

(2011) The NHS: Evolution and current prospects. Workshop series on international health systems for health professionals from Spain and Latin America. Bilbao, Spain.

(2011) Key political institutions in the saga of the NHS reforms Annual Regional conference of Medical Sociology. De Montfort University. June.

(2010) Overview of NHS reforms and impact of devolving commissioning responsibilities: some implications for professionals. Health Educators Summit, hosted by UCU. London. November

(2010) The principles of a progressive health policy in a time of change. Invited lecture (funded by European Citizens Foundation). Madrid Complutense University. July.

(2010) Costs in services, finances and inflexibility: The Private Finance Initiative in the UK.  Guest lecture (invited and funded) by Ernesto Lluch Foundation. Valencia University, Spain. June.

(2010) Invited participant at roundtable discussion on alternative approaches to health service reform; chaired by Nick Timmins at BMA House, Tavistock Square

(2010) PFI in the UK.  Guest speaker - International Chamber, Congress of Deputies, Madrid, at the invitation of the President of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, Social Policy and Consumer Affairs. Funded by European Citizens Foundation.

(2009) Reform and Recommodification: The Modernisation of the National Health Service in England, paper presented at the annual conference of Historical Materialism, School of Oriental and African Studies, London. November. Funded by Historical Materialism.

(2009) Developing an alternative vision of the NHS, presentation at a public meeting of the Northampton Trades Union Council. Northampton. November. Funded by NTUC; attended by trade unionists.

(2009) What can the public sphere offer us?, paper presented at a conference of the Bretton Woods Project: Recovery towards what? Finance, justice, sustainability G20 Finance Ministers’ Alternative Conference. Congress Centre, London. November. Funded by Bretton Woods Project. Attended by international audience of academic teachers and students; development agency personnel.

(2009) Experiencias de las Reformas de los Sistemas Sanitarios en Europa: el Caso de Inglaterra, Invited by conference organisers at a conference of the International Association of Health Policy: Health and the Global Crisis. Ministry of Health, Madrid, September. Funded by conference organisers.

(2009) Save Our Hospital campaigns in England: Why do some hospital campaigns succeed?, paper presented at a conference of the International Association of Health Policy in Europe, Coventry. June. Self-funded and DMU funded.

(2009) Health Service Reform in the UK: Developing an Alternative Approach, invited presentation  at the House of Commons, London. June. (Funded by Keep Our NHS Public)

(2009) Health Service Reform in England: Consequences and Concerns, presentation to a meeting of the Secular Society, Leicester. April.

(2008) Private Finance Initiative and the hospital sector in the UK. Presentation to trade union conference, Madrid, Spain. November.

(2008) ‘The relevance of Marxism to health policy’, paper presented to the annual conference of the Social Policy Association, Edinburgh. July.

(2008) ‘La Iniciativa de Financiacion Privada (PFI) en el Reino Unido: El impacto sobre los trabajadores sanitarios y la comunidad sanitaria en general’ conference of the Federacion de Asociaciones de la Defensa de La Sanidad Publica, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. March

(2008) ‘Health briefing’, East Midlands National Pensioners Convenstion Regional Parliament, Leicester

Current research students

PhD students:

  • The impact of public and patient involvement on the outcomes of cancer research
  • Record keeping among pharmacists
  • The lived experiences of childbearing among obese women
  • Men's views of timings and circumstances of parenthood
  • The experiences of migrant surrogate mothers in Russia
  • The experiences of mothers who have been imprisoned
  • School Refusal: Investigating an International Model of Interventions to Support Children and Families

Externally funded research grants information

  • Social Policy Association Opportunity Grants Scheme, 2017
  • ACCEPT mental health charity – advisor for service evaluation research, 2009-10
  • Leicestershire County Council – training and report on service reconfiguration, 2008
  • Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council – report on service reconfiguration for the Independent Reconfiguration Panel, 2007

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