Dr Manuel Villarreal Reales' main interest is the role of primary and general practice in providing universal and affordable healthcare in the UK and developing countries. He works in collaboration with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the National Institute of health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to strengthen primary care and has participated in workshops and conferences in the UK and Latin America.
Dr Villarreal Reales has contributed to the organisation of an international workshop at the University of Warwick/NICE which involved 30 Latin American health leaders. He has researched the role of GPs in the urgent care setting and was involved in a project in Worcestershire with local GPs and the West Midlands Ambulance Service regarding admission prevention. The latter work was part of his main National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) project to compare the role of GPs in the urgent care setting in England and Colombia (supervised by Prof Jeremy Dale). As part of his NIHR Fellowship, he took an MSc in Global Health Policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, which linked well with strengthening primary care worldwide.
In 2013 Dr Villarreal Reales organised a national workshop with NIHR In-practice Fellow colleagues, the aim of which was to share ideas and experiences about research journeys: contributions were made by Prof Jeremy Dale, Dr Clare Taylor from the University of Birmingham School of Primary Care, staff from the West Midlands Research Design Service and staff from the Central England Primary Care Research Network (West Midlands-South). They had a very productive encounter, sharing relevant advice and ideas for a research proposal and, in Dr Villarreal Reales' case, towards applying for an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship.