Ruth May

Chief Nursing Officer – England

Ruth May was appointed as Executive Director of Nursing at NHS Improvement within the Nursing  Directorate in April 2016 following her role as Director of Nursing at Monitor. She currently also holds the post as Deputy Chief Nursing Officer and has previously held the roles of Regional Chief Nurse for NHS England (Midlands and East), Nurse Director for the NHS Midlands and East SHA and Chief Nurse at NHS East of England between July 2009 and June 2015.

Ruth has a theatre nursing background and nearly 30 years’ experience of working in the NHS.  During her career she has held several high profile NHS leadership roles including two Chief Executive appointments of acute hospitals, Chief Executive of a Primary Care Group and Director of Nursing of a PCT.

Ruth supported the national work in development of Quality Surveillance Groups, which operate as a network of organisations locally and regionally, working together to act as an early warning system for quality. The aim of QSGs is to identify risks to quality at an early a stage by proactively sharing information and intelligence between commissioners, regulators and those with a system oversight role.

As SRO for Action Area 5: ‘ensuring we have the right staff, with the right skills in the right place’, Ruth led the development of the NQB How to Guide with support from nurses across England which was a huge step in the cultural shift on safe nurse staffing.