In 2011, Ruth was appointed National Lead for Mental Health for the Scottish Government, based in the Quality and Efficiency Support Team (QuEST). From this role she was seconded to Healthcare Improvement Scotland in August 2013, initially to lead the NHS Lanarkshire Rapid Review Assessment and then (from January 2014) as Interim Director of Safety and Improvement.

After graduating from the University of Warwick with a degree in maths in 2001, Ruth gained a place on the NHS management training scheme. She went on to hold general management positions at North Birmingham Mental Health Trust, Walsall Primary Care Trust and NHS Borders, before joining the Scottish Government in 2008 to manage the national Mental Health Collaborative project. Ruth completed a masters degree in public administration at Warwick Business School in 2012.

Peer to peer support

One of the aspects of GenerationQ that Ruth is most looking forward to is the chance to develop a strong support network of peers who share a passion for improving health care services. 'I'm hoping to engage in critical debate and have my current thinking and practice challenged in a supportive and constructive way,' she explains.

'I know that a strong support network will be invaluable when it comes to dealing with the challenging situations that I’m facing at work, both during my time on the fellowship and afterwards too.'

Working at a national level

Ruth’s plans for the future involve continuing to work at a national level in roles that focus on creating the right conditions for service improvement. 'Change and improvement always has to be delivered locally, but the national context can support or hinder this. I want to play a part in enabling frontline staff to achieve a goal that is important to them and which we all share, which is to deliver high quality services to patients.'