Wales’ new Chief Medical Officer Dr Frank Atherton, starts work today.
As Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Atherton will be responsible for providing independent professional advice to the First Minister, the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport, the Minister for Social Services and Public Health and the Cabinet on health and public health matters, as well as working with organisations across Wales to reduce health inequalities and improve health.
As Medical Director of NHS Wales, he will lead the medical profession with the aim of improving the quality of healthcare and patient outcomes.
Dr Atherton, who is from Lancashire, has been working as Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health in the Department of Health and Wellness in Nova Scotia, Canada. He has previously held the post of Director of Public Health in North Lancashire and has served as President of the UK Association of Directors of Public Health.
Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport Vaughan Gething AM said:
“Dr Atherton has a great deal of experience working at a senior level in public health in the UK and overseas and I look forward to working with him. I’m delighted he has joined us as we work to improve health and well-being and I’d like to offer him a warm welcome to Wales.”
Dr Atherton said:
“Being Chief Medical Officer here provides me with a fantastic opportunity to work with people and organisations across Wales to create the conditions for people to live healthier lives, building on the foundations of the Active Travel Act and the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act. I’m looking forward to getting down to delivering these progressive and innovative policies.”
Dr Atherton replaces Dr Ruth Hussey who retired earlier this year.