Ruth is is a political science graduate and a former UK National Health Service hospital finance director. In 2007/8 she spent a year at UC Berkeley as a Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice, comparing pay for performance programmes in the UK and California. She has also held posts at the Universities of Warwick, Nottingham, Liverpool and Leeds. Ruth is a former vice president of the European Sociological Association.
Ruth's research often concerns simple ‘solutions’ to complex problems in health settings. Initially exploration of this topic took the form of ethnographic research, but more recently she has led a number of large scale mixed method evaluations of aspects of health policy. Much of her research has focused on financial incentives for quality in the UK and beyond and she has published widely on the subject. She has provided advice to a range of bodies including the Department of Health and The Health Foundation in the UK, the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Research Council of Norway.