From consultant to deputy medical director – Ruth Alcolado has been on a significant journey over the past 17 years.

Since joining Cwm Taf University Health Board in 2000 she has enjoyed soaring success in her career thanks to the organisation’s wealth of opportunities and progressive ethos.

After joining as a consultant, she took on the medical management role, followed by an appointment as clinical director for medicine in 2011.

After four yearsshe then undertook a broader management remit, before finally being appointed to deputy medical director in January.

When asked about the key to her success, Ruth said the biggest driving force behind her progression was the “enduring support of her colleagues”.

Ruth, who is based at Royal Glamorgan Hospital, said: “When I first moved to Cwm Taf I was really looking for like-minded colleagues who shared the same work ethic as me.

“Having left my previous job where the atmosphere was sometimes unhappy, it was something that meant a great deal to me.

“I already knew people who worked here, and I was aware that Cwm Taf was an organisation that put its patients first.

“Very quickly I realised it’s like one big family, it’s really lovely. And It’s been like that ever since I started. That support has really encouraged me to keep achieving and striving for the next goal.”

Thanks to the continuous support of her colleagues and management, Ruth has had the opportunity to sharpen her focus and excel within her specialism of liver disease and acute medicine.

Despite the often-challenging nature of these specialisms, she said it is fantastic to get the chance to support these patients on a one-to one basis and really make a difference.

“Liver disease deals with a population of people who tend to be younger, generally in their 30s, 40s or 50s, which is a challenging population to work with,” she said.

“But it is hugely rewarding when things go well. I have got patients who I have seen for years and you look at how far they have come and you realise it’s great, they have been given a second chance and you have been part of that.

“I also work across the acute medical in-take, which can also be very challenging but rewarding, as you can really help make a big difference to people.

“That is what makes Cwm Taf great. It really affords medical professionals the opportunity to play an integral role in these patients’ treatment by building a first-hand patient-doctor relationship, which might be lost in a bigger organisation.

“Being able to come to work and really focus on what the patient needs, gives you a great sense of achievement. As a result, our patients are incredibly grateful.”

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