Who is Ruth May? Chief Nursing Officer for England – The Sun

RUTH May is the Chief Nursing Officer for England, representing the NHS' frontline heroes during the coronavirus crisis.

Mrs May is advising the UK Government during the pandemic – but what does she do and how does she contribute to the battle against COVID-19?

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Who is Ruth May?

Ruth May is the Chief Nursing Officer for England and a national director at NHS England and NHS Improvement.

She began her career in a variety of nursing roles before becoming a theatre sister at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey.

The chief nurse is also the current NHS director responsible for infection prevention and control.

Mrs May was appointed Executive Director of Nursing at NHS Improvement in April 2016, and Director of Nursing at Monitor, the regulatory body of the healthcare sector.

What has she said about the coronavirus pandemic?

The Chief Nursing Office for England has described the coronavirus crisis as "the greatest challenge in health and social care in at least a generation".

Speaking to reporters on April 11, May begged the UK public to respect social distancing measures over the East bank Holiday weekend, in order to protect her staff.

During Friday's Downing Street press briefing she said: "I was only on the way here, going over Westminster Bridge, seeing a whole hoard of cyclists coming together.

"It is enormously frustrating.

"The reason that is frustrating is because there's also still occasions where my colleagues are getting abuse from their neighbours for driving off to work.

"Our nurses, our healthcare staff, need to be able to get to work, it's right and proper they do, but my ask of everybody, please stay at home, save lives and protect my staff."

On April 3, she paid tribute to medics who had died after contracting coronavirus.

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Wearing her uniform in support, she said: "I worry there is going to be more."

On April 1, she made a nationwide call for former nurses and midwives to return to the NHS to help support the fight against coronavirus.

What's her role during UK coronavirus crisis?

May has a high-profile role as England's chief nurse during the coronavirus pandemic.

Her job is to represent the nursing sector and to also advise Government on latest NHS statistics, and figures.

She also reports the effects of social distancing is having on the COVID-19 outbreak, including transport usage, and hospital admissions.

She is featured regularly in daily coronavirus press briefings broadcast from Downing Street during the COVID-19 crisis, where she often reports statistics.


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