Ruth Winters (born 18 October 1984) is a trust doctor who worked in Holby City Hospital's emergency department from 2007 to 2011. She joined the department in September 2007 in her second year of foundation training, and following this she was appointed as a trust doctor in the ED.
Throughout her time in the ED, Ruth suffered with her mental health and a bad day of work often had negative repercussions for Ruth and those around her. After a failed suicide attempt in 2008, the staff started to fear for her after she was rushed into resus. Shortly after, Ruth found comfort in her colleagues and build friendships with Toby and Abs. In 2011, her relationship with staff nurse Jay became more serious, and the on and off relationship once again plunged Ruth into a poor mental state and even get an abortion without him knowing.
Towards the end of 2011, Ruth once again began to recover and at the same time discovered that she was again pregnant with Jay's child. This time, Ruth decided to keep the baby when Jay insisted that they remain together. Following a fire in the ED in December 2011, Jay and Ruth both informed Nick Jordan that they wouldn't be returning to work there in 2012 as they left Holby to begin their new life together.
Being a doctor was Ruth's ambition from the age of eight and it seemed to be all that mattered to her.
Time in the emergency department (2007-11)Edit
Ruth started working in the ED in September 2007 when she was 22 as one of the two new F2 doctors, the other being Toby De Silva. She initially settled in well, but the week following her arrival didn't go so well when she began to badmouth Toby behind his back, and also due to the fact cardiothoracics Clinical Lead Connie Beauchamp was in charge of the ED for the day.
In October, Ruth forgot to take a pregnancy test on a patient but when it later transpired that she was pregnant, Ruth blamed the mistake on Nadia. Later in the month, Ruth's father Ted Winters was admitted to the ED drunk. She initially tried to dump him on Toby, but Nadia insisted she treat him, not knowing their relationship. She later swapped her blood for his so he could pass the blood alcohol test, and they agreed to have coffee together. However, he ran away again soon after and Ruth discovered that the card he told her he wrote years ago had been purchased just outside the ED, and she realised that he was just using her for his own personal reasons again.
In November, Ruth was sent out on an observation shift with Greg after she had recently excelled in treating patients. Subsequently, Ruth mistakenly gave a patient the wrong medicine which caused him to fit. When she arrived back at the ED, she was ready to come clean about the incident to Adam but he instead congratulated her on her recent work, and assured her that she would become a consultant soon.
The following month, Ruth saw a chance to impress her seniors once again when a man slipped into a vending machine and mutilated his foot. However Adam decided to let Toby perform the procedure but this angered Ruth as she saw no real benefit of him doing it as he was going to resign anyway. She later asked him in the on call room if everyone hated her but he didn't hear, which she assumed him not answering meant they did. The following week, Kelsey began spreading rumours that Toby and Ruth had slept together, and Ruth was further disappointed when Toby was assigned to resus for the day to boost his confidence.
Shortly after Christmas, a girl was admitted to the ED with a spinal injury but Ruth cleared her of any injuries. The girl later got up to go to the toilet and collapsed and couldn't feel her legs. Once again, Ruth pinned the blame on Nadia, and claims she never said to discharge the patient. The next day, Tess told Nadia and Ruth that she knew one of them was lying and that she wanted the truth by the end of the day.
In early January 2008, Ruth went out as a response doctor to the scene of a prolonged entrapment. She made another careless error when she failed to check how much morphine Greg had given a patient and upon administering more caused the patient to overdose.
At the beginning of February, Ruth was tasked with dealing with a drunk patient and simply told him that he needed to sleep it off. However it later transpired that he had suffered a major brain bleed and the blood wasn't clotting, and he died shortly after in resus. Harry told Ruth not to blame herself. Ruth made an apology to the rest of the staff and Adam told her it was fine as Toby killed patients everyday. After returning home from her shift, Ruth broke down and became emotionally distraught over the events of the day and couldn't help but blame herself for the patient's death. Toby and Abs later went to her apartment to check she was okay but they instead found Ruth handing from her neck from the ceiling. She was rushed into the ED as the team desperately tried to save her, and Harry read through her diary which documented the events leading up to her suicide attempt and told Tess that the department had let Ruth down for not being there for her.
In the following weeks Harry became concerned about Toby due to the emotional impact Ruth's suicide attempt had on him, and Marilyn told Harry that the board would likely suspend him if he went public about the content of Ruth's diary. However by early March, Harry decided to let the press have her diary as he thought it would be able to help many others in a similar situation. The following week, Ruth was taken off life support, beginning to recover but still not awake. Adam informed the team that he would make one final attempt to take her off sedation but warned them that they should say their goodbyes. After Harry's departure, Toby finally plucked up the courage to go and visit Ruth and upon hearing his voice she began to move.
Later in March, Ruth fully regained consciousness and decided to discharge herself from hospital. Maggie offered Ruth a room of her house until she got back on her feet which later got her into trouble with Marilyn as she prioritised Ruth over her patients. A couple of weeks later, Zoe explained to Maggie that Ruth would have to return to work as a result of budget cuts and that she was still receiving a full wage.
By April, Ruth had returned to work but was assigned to non clinical duties such as gown changing and gathering information. However, Ruth was later able to prove herself capable when she was able to talk a man out of dropping a baby down a rubbish shoot, saving her life. The following week, Ruth expressed her desire to help out more to Charlie, but he firmly put her back in her place as a result of orders from her seniors. However, Ruth later made a diagnosis which resulted in the staff finding out that a daughter wasn't being abused by her mother but just had brittle bone disease. Maggie then allowed Ruth to begin treating patients again, but she struggled when it came to using needles.
In August, Toby became reliant on Ruth for support when she advised him on what to do after making a medical mistake. Later in 2008 upon the arrival of staff nurse Jay Faldren, Ruth paid him to accompany her to several surgical events but the pair grew closer and began dating for real.
In September 2009, Ruth was assigned to work alongside new junior doctor May Phelps in the aftermath of Heather's death which shook the department. By October, Jay asked Ruth to publicly acknowledge their relationship to the rest of the staff and they ended their shift by kissing in reception in front of everyone. They returned home shortly after but Ruth realised that she'd forgotten to take her pill. The following week, she discovered that she was pregnant and was invited to a surgeons dinner. Ruth decided to have an abortion and attended the surgeons dinner the following week without inviting Jay. He turned up anyway but was kicked out as Ruth collapsed as a result of a negative reaction to the abortion pill. After being admitted to the ED, Sarah told Ruth that she must not have any distractions if she wanted to remain on her team, causing Ruth to push Jay away.
In November, Ruth attempted to impress Sarah by not seeking help with a cerebral palsy patient, but their condition worsened causing Nick to have to step in. In early December, Ruth's brother Jonathan turned up at the ED seeking her help but Ruth suspected that he was still taking drugs. He attempted to gain her trust and approval. Throughout the month, she was looking forward to spending Christmas with Jonathan until she realised that he was stealing from her. Shortly after Christmas, Ruth admitted her loneliness to Jay and accepted his comfort as they went home together.
In the new year, Ruth became impressed with Jay's sensitive treatment of a patient and decided to admit her abortion to him. With her relationship with Jay on the line, Ruth was quick to anger and lashed out at May after she made a clinical error. May retaliated and Ruth sent her home. Ruth later had a heated conversation with Jay about May, when he tells Ruth that she should be nicer to her. After this, Ruth decided to pay May a visit at home but was horrified to find May slumped over in a chair with an open bottle of wine and some pills nearby. Shortly after, Ruth finally built up the courage to tell Jay that she loved him, but it was too late and he walked away and ended it with her.
In fear of failure, Ruth was hesitant when she was put forward to assist on a new surgical trial in February but when she impressed her mentor Howard Fairfax, she once again decided to pursue her dream career. Jay began assisting Fairfax and Ruth but a patient crashed and died during the surgical trial and Nick demanded an explanation. Jay informed him that the notes had gone missing but during a private meeting with Ruth, Fairfax explained that the only way that there could have been an error was if Jay drew up an incorrect dosage. Ruth soon told Jay that the only way to clear his name would be to find the missing notes.
In April, Jay came to the ED to get Tess and Ruth on his side in an attempt to clear his name following the clinical trial incident. Ruth avoided him, but she began to have suspicions over the safety of the clinical trial when Fairfax asked her to administer half the usual dosage to a patient.
In June, Ruth attended a surgical convention hosted by influential surgeon Edward Thurlow so he could read her paper. However, she later had an embarrassing mishap when she spilled water on her computer. Her and Edward went out for a meal afterwards and he told Ruth that he was attracted to her. She entered a relationship soon after, and took the relationship quickly in an attempt to increase her chances of becoming a surgeon. She rushed straight to marriage, and by the end of the month the day of their wedding had arrived. However, Ruth became distracted upon receiving a package containing a gold locket. She begged Adam to have the day off work due to personal reasons and was driven off in a chauffeur driven car. Nick inadvertently revealed to Jay in conversation that Ruth was planning on getting married that day, which led Jay to run through the streets of Holby until he reached the registry office. However, he was too late and they married anyway.
In September, Ruth waited in anticipation for the announcement of the new surgical roles, believing that Edward would have helped her get the job. Ruth was unsuccessful in her application for the job and at the same time was troubled by the lack of intimacy in her marriage. Her marriage problems continued into October, at which point Charlie made a discovery which could have ruined her marriage; that Edward was kissing a man. In November, Jay and Ruth swapped roles when treating his grandmother in the ED as he had told her that he was a doctor. However, they were soon caught out by a disproving inspector.
Ruth found out about Edward's affair, and when she discovered that Charlie was aware of it she had him transferred out of the department. The following week, she was confronted by the rest of the staff about her decision to make Charlie a victim of budget cuts, but she refused to reinstate him. Her sham marriage to Edward continued but when she was forced to work with his lover, they clashed which resulted in a fatal drugs mishap.
At the beginning of 2011, Ruth lost a patient and blamed the error on Mads which put their friendship on the line. Meanwhile, Ruth came to the realisation that Edward was still seeing his lover and he broke up with her and they got divorced. Later in the month, Jay became concerned about Ruth after he came to realisation that she could have been raped the night before by a man who Lenny thought was being abused by his wife. Later in January, Ruth illegally operated on a patient in the on call room who Jeff and Dixie had brought in which resulted in her being sectioned in a mental health unit due to her inability to carry out her job properly. In March, Ruth escaped from the psychiatric ward to go shopping but it was then down to Charlie to prevent her from being arrested as she hadn't taken her medication.
By April, Ruth had shown signs of improvement in her state of mind with visits from the staff, mainly Charlie. She was diagnosed with bi-polar, but made a surprise return to the ED in May working part time. Ruth was officially reinstated in June, but soon realised that she'd pushed herself too far when a stroke victim was brought in and her confidence wavered. In July, Nick allowed Ruth to return to the department on a probationary period and she forgave him for having her sectioned earlier in the year. She also began helping Charlie to care for his granddaughter.
In September, Ruth and Jay worked together and she was grateful for his support during the day, something which drew them closer together once again. They got back together soon after and she found herself rethinking her mental health medicine. She fell pregnant again and struggled to cope with the idea, especially since the pregnancy meant she would have to stop taking the medication for her bi-polar.
She attempted to reject Jay but when the pair found themselves trapped in the ED during a fire in December she realised what was important in her life. They managed to rescue a young girl named Lily, and although they were separated whilst climbing in the air conditioning system they all made it out safely. Both she and Jay quit the hospital and left Holby in a camper van to start fresh together.
In her early times in the ED, rumours circulated regarding a relationship between Ruth and Toby, but nothing real ever came of it. Upon the arrival of Jay Faldren in 2008, they began a relationship. The relationship lasted until early 2010 when he broke up with her as a result of her secretly having had an abortion.
In 2010, she married Edward Thurlow in an attempt to advance her career. However, she didn't receive the promotion she desired and soon discovered that he was gay. In early 2011 he broke up with her to be with his new partner and they divorced. Later in the year, Jay and Ruth once again got back together. She fell pregnant again and they departed the ED together.
- Ruth's family background was troubled. Her mother committed suicide when she was young, her father was an alcoholic and her brother was a drug addict who got sent to prison. Both Ruth's father and her brother, Jonathan, turned up in the ED.
- Jay pledged his undying love to Ruth at the registry office, just after she had got married to Edward.
- When Charlie discovered the truth about Edward's homosexuality she schemed to have Charlie transferred to a post on the psychiatric ward. However, he forgave her and supported her through her breakdown.
- After initially disliking each other, Ruth developed a good 'brother/sister' relationship with colleague Toby de Silva.
Behind the scenesEdit
Georgia Taylor portrayed Ruth Winters on Casualty from 2007 until 2011. It was first announced on 18 July 2007 that Taylor had been cast for the role of Ruth. The BBC described the character as "clever, hardworking and focused", stating that she had wanted to be a doctor since she was eight, and graduated top of her class - working hard at the expense of her personal life.
Taylor herself has commented: "Ruth's very responsible and articulate, and seems pretty confident. But underneath it all, she's something of a troubled soul which hopefully we'll find out later on. She's very self-critical and won't allow herself to make any mistakes. But, for a junior doctor, the whole first year in a hospital is about making mistakes and learning from it. Ruth won't accept help from anyone; she thinks she knows it all."
Taylor made her first appearance as Ruth in the series 22 premiere episode "My First Day" in September 2007 and made her final appearance in the series 26 episode "Next of Kin - Part Two" which aired in December 2011. In total, she appeared in over 170 episodes.