Ruth is the Chief Nursing Officer for England and an Executive/National Director at NHS England and NHS Improvement. She is also the National Director responsible for infection prevention and control.
Ruth was appointed following her roles as Executive Director of Nursing at NHS Improvement, which commenced in April 2016, and Director of Nursing at Monitor, the healthcare sector regulator.
Prior to joining Monitor, she was Regional Chief Nurse and Nurse Director for the Midlands and East region in NHS England, where she championed the 'Stop the Pressure' campaign, which nearly halved the number of pressure ulcers in the region, improving care for patients, as well as delivering cost savings to the NHS.
Ruth is passionate about nurturing the next generation of NHS nursing, midwifery and allied health professions (AHP) leaders, encouraging professional development opportunities and working across the health system to put in place the optimal cultural conditions for all NHS employees to thrive. This includes advocating for improved mental health awareness in the workplace, championing volunteer activity to support the frontline workforce and being a vocal supporter of the NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard agenda and increased diversity across the NHS.
Ruth began her career with a variety of nursing roles before becoming a theatre sister at Frimley Park Hospital. She was Acting Director of Nursing at Barnet Hospital before being appointed the substantive Director of Nursing and Deputy Chief Executive with Havering Primary Care Trust.
In October 2005, she became Chief Executive of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn, a post she held for two years. She has also been Chief Executive of Mid-Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust.
Ruth May is also a member of our board.