Ruth du Plessis

Ruth du Plessis took up the role of Director of Public Health in May following the retirement of Sue Forster.

She will be tasked will leading the local authority's ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic and tackling the long-term health challenges and inequalities faced by residents.

Ruth previously worked as a public health consultant within St Helens Borough Council, a role that she had held since 2019.

She trained as a nurse and health visitor at the University of Liverpool before going on to spend several years in South Africa where she volunteered to provide palliative care to HIV and AIDs patients in a poor, rural community.

After returning to the UK, Ruth studied for a Masters in Applied Public Health and worked in several roles across the north of England before joining St Helens Borough Council.

She has specialised in social prescribing and early help, as well as taking lead roles on sexual, workplace, children’s and mental health.

In the past year Ruth has played a leading part in the council’s response to Covid-19, overseeing contact tracing, outbreak management and targeted testing.