New Interim Director of Public Health for Plymouth


Dr Ruth Harrell will take over as Interim Director of Public Health in the autumn.

Dr Ruth Harrell will take over as Interim Director of Public Health in the autumn.

A new Interim Director of Public Health has been announced for Plymouth City Council.

Dr Ruth Harrell will take over the reins in the autumn when Professor Kelechi Nnoaham leaves the Council after two and a half years, to take on a new role in South Wales.

Councillor Ian Bowyer, Leader of Plymouth City Council, said: “We are sorry to say goodbye to Professor Nnoaham but he has been a great asset to Plymouth and on behalf of everyone at Plymouth City Council I would like to wish him all the best in his new venture in South Wales. I look forward to working with Dr Harrell.”

Professor Kelechi Nnoaham said: “Since I joined the Council I have enjoyed the wonderful privilege of being part of Plymouth’s amazing journey of transformation. During this time, we have successfully integrated Public Health with other key functions of the Council, raised the profile of prevention and worked collaboratively with the City’s communities and partners from a wide range of sectors. In so doing, we have begun to narrow health inequalities in the City through Thrive Plymouth – our evidence-based framework cited by the Local Government Association as an exemplar in Public Health transformation.

Professor Kelechi Nnoaham will leave Plymouth City Council on 31 October.

Professor Kelechi Nnoaham will leave Plymouth City Council on 31 October.

“My experience working in and living in Plymouth has been extremely pleasurable and it’s only left for me to thank from the bottom of my heart all the lovely people, communities and institutions in Plymouth that I have been privileged to work with for the support they gave me and to Public Health in the City. I will have the fondest thoughts of Plymouth wherever I go.”

Dr Ruth Harrell has worked in Plymouth as a Consultant in Public Health for two years, leading on disease prevention and health protection. In taking on the role of Interim Director of Public Health, Ruth will be responsible for a number of key areas including health improvement and disease prevention, to environmental health, trading standards, civil protection, licensing, and intelligence.

Ruth said: “I look forward to taking over as Interim Director of Public Health for Plymouth, there is some fantastic work taking place here to improve health and reduce health inequalities and I want to continue to build on this with the team and our colleagues and partners.”

Professor Kelechi Nnoaham leaves the Council on 31 October when Dr Ruth Harrell will take over as Interim Director of Public Health.