Dr Tony Jewell


Picture of Tony Jewell at Moller Institute

Dr. Tony Jewell worked in the NHS for over 40 years in different roles and was Chief Medical Officer for Wales before his retirement in 2012. He was trained at Christ’s College, University Cambridge and The London Hospital Medical College.

Professional experience

After qualifying Tony undertook vocational training in general practice in East London going on to become a GP in inner London for 10 years. During this time he helped develop a teaching and research focused group practice by merging single-handed practices and designed a new purpose-built health centre in Chrisp Street, Poplar. He served on Tower Hamlets Area Health Authority for six years as the trades union representative and campaigned to reduce inequalities and develop inner city primary care.

In 1990, Tony was trained in public health in Cambridge and was later appointed as Director of Public Health (DPH) for three Health Authorities in the region finally becoming Clinical Director and DPH for the Strategic Health Authority in East Anglia. During this time Tony advocated for improving clinical quality by the strengthening of managed clinical networks. Between 2002-2004 he was elected and served as President of the UK Association of Directors of Public Health ensuring the organisation was an effective influence in NHS reforms such as Shifting the Balance.

Tony was appointed as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for the Welsh Government in 2006 responsible for providing independent professional advice and guidance to the First Minister and other Welsh Government ministers on public health and healthcare matters. He advocated smoke-free legislation bringing in the “smoke-free public spaces, pubs and restaurants” legislation, and promoted the policy of banning smoking in cars with children present. Tony also led the creation of an integrated public health system, using the model of the three domains of public health practice, creating Public Health Wales and Director of Public Health posts in the Health Boards. During his time as CMO, the resources for life science research and development increased significantly and he led the creation of the National Institute for Social Care and Health Research (NISCHR) for Wales.

Honours and awards

  • Fellow of the Royal College of GPs
  • Fellow and Hon FFPH of the Faculty of Public Health
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine
  • Tony received the Faculty of Public Health’s Alwyn Smith Prize for his leadership as CMO during the 2009 pandemic flu response and received honorary doctorate from the University of Glamorgan and Honorary Fellowship from Cardiff Metropolitan University.
  • Chairs the Wales for Africa Health Links Network (WFAHLN)
  • Member of the Committee of Management of the Cambridge Institute of Public Health (CIPH)
  • Member of the International Strategic Advisory Group for the Cambridge Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR)

Publications and public speaking

  • Inner City GPs. BMJ 1980;280:407
  • Healthcare and Traditional Medicine in China – 1800 to 1982 Hillier SM and Jewell JA. RKP 1983
  • Twenty four hour care in the inner city. BMJ 1989;299:368-370
  • Using nurses for preventive activities. BMJ 1989;298:433-436
  • The noose of the independent contractor status. BMJ 1990;300-885
  • Healthcare in London – low on residential and nursing homes. BMJ 1993;306:1474-5
  • Counselling in general practice. BMJ 1993;3: R42-4
  • The problems of fundholding (editorial) BMJ 1996;312:7042
  • Learning from primary care in developing countries. Author overestimates role of barefoot doctors in China. BMJ 1996 Jan 27; 312(700):250
  • Country profile: United Kingdom. Lancet 1997;350-9070:48-58
  • Health visitors and child surveillance. BJGP 1999;49:313
  • Geographical distribution of road traffic deaths in E&W JofPH 2005;27:107-111
  • Public Health in Practice: the three domains of public healh. PH 2005;119(10): 907-13
  • Public health in the UK: success or failure? – JR Soc Med 2006 Mar; 99(3): 107-11
  • Health and Social Care regulation in Wales JRSPH 2008;128:306-12
  • Have dispensed items really risen with free prescriptions? BMJ 2008 Sep 10;337:a1581
  • Making the economic case for prevention – a view from Wales – BMC Public Health, 2012 Jun 20;12:460
  • Prof Kan-Wen Ma (obituary) – BMJ 2017 Feb 17,356:j810