Moving on as gatekeeper – Ruth is our NHS Hero

With an instinctive desire to help people and make a difference, Ruth Cannock (32) left school knowing she wanted to work within the NHS; and she has done just that ever since.

As a nurse for 10 years, Ruth has spent the whole of her career with Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH).

“I studied BTEC Health and Social Care at college, and after completing placements alongside my course, I knew that I wanted to work in mental health specifically,” said Ruth.

After college, Ruth trained as a student nurse in Dudley, and has since progressed into various roles which include, deputy ward manager for both male and female acute wards, and more recently a ward manager.

As part of her professional development, Ruth is currently undertaking a secondment role within the Dudley Home Treatment Team, as a gatekeeper. She is responsible for screening potential patients for the service, and also signposting to the various services we offer, to ensure that the correct support is provided to those who need it most.

Ruth said: “My role can be challenging at times, but having direct contact with service users is what drives me to do the best I can for them.

“Seeing services progress and being a part of a patient’s journey is the most rewarding part for me. That’s what puts it all into perspective, when I feel I’ve helped towards recovery.”

Throughout her 10 years working for the Trust, Ruth said she’s had many career highlights, but the one that stands out most was the redevelopment of Clee ward, at Bushey Fields Hospital in Dudley.

“I was there when the Mayor officially opened the new ward, which was really exciting and felt like a huge achievement.

“The renovation has created a much better patient experience because the space was utilised so well, and it was great to be acknowledged for the improvements which were made,” said Ruth.

Outside of work, Ruth enjoys going to the gym and has a keen interest in her health and wellbeing.

“I also love baking!

“I know that sounds like a contradiction after talking about the gym! But I try to balance the two,” laughs Ruth.

So who is Ruth’s hero?

“I’ve been lucky enough to have had some great mentors throughout my career within the NHS, and I’d say they are all my heroes. I’m so grateful for the support and guidance I’ve received throughout my journey so far.”

Ruth’s mental health message: “Mental health issues can make you feel isolated and trapped. Remember that there is support out there, so reach out and speak to someone, and never lose hope!”