Back to the future with the Welsh CMO

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 24 June 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c3382
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

    In the second of a series of interviews with the chief medical officers of the UK’s countries, Nigel Hawkes reflects with Tony Jewell on what devolution has done for the NHS in Wales

    The NHS in England has undergone so many twists and turns that it is easy to forget there is a prelapsarian version functioning in Wales. The principality even has a Bevan Commission to ensure that health policy evolves along lines that would have met the approval of Aneurin Bevan, founder of the NHS.

    To some this might be a burden, but Tony Jewell, who came from England to Wales as chief medical officer in 2006, bears it like a torch. The wall of his office tells the story: there are pictures of David Lloyd-George, Nye Bevan, Archie Cochrane and Julian Tudor-Hart, all Welshmen native born or by adoption and all key shapers of the NHS. In conversation he also mentions Iain Chalmers, who also worked in Wales with Cochrane and named his international collaboration on evidence based medicine after him.

    “The DNA of the NHS is implanted into the people of Wales,” says Dr Jewell. “Coming to Wales, you feel that historical value system …

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