The CMO provides independent professional advice and guidance on health and healthcare matters to the First Minister and other Welsh Government ministers and to the National Assembly for Wales.
Dr Jewell’s key focus in his time as CMO has been on "Our Healthy Future" and tacking the inequalities in health that exist across the country. He has worked with the First Minister and the Welsh Government to highlight the need for strong action. He has championed the "Fairer Health Outcomes for All" action plan, reducing risk behaviours that are the cause of too many premature deaths in Wales.
He has been an especially strong voice on reducing smoking in the Welsh community. This included managing the introduction on the ban on smoking in the workplace, public places, pubs and restaurants. Further tobacco control work includes restricting the sale of tobacco from vending machines and advocating for the UK’s first legislation banning smoking in confined spaces such as cars.
Reducing the impact of the misuse of alcohol has also been a theme of Dr Jewell’s time as CMO. He has been a supporter of Welsh approaches to alcohol, such as harm reduction in the Cardiff night-time economy. Dr Jewell was also the author of "You, your child and alcohol: Guidance on the consumption of alcohol by children and young people."
As CMO, Dr Jewell has also played a key role in promoting physical activity through the Creating an Active Wales policy and exercise referral and is a joint sponsor on UK CMO’s recommendations on physical activity launched in 2011.
He has also led action on diet and obesity across the life course through the Welsh Network of Health School Schemes, development of the Obesity pathway, introducing regulations banning unhealthy food and drink in hospital vending machines and endorsement of food co-ops across the country.
In his role as CMO Dr Jewell has led on many issues affecting the health of the people of Wales. This included taking the principal role in the management of the flu pandemic in 2009 and advising the Welsh Government on appropriate courses of action. He oversaw the Pennington E Coli Inquiry and government response leading to proposals for food hygiene rating scheme. In addition he led the multi-sectoral team that provided the national response to the suicide cluster in Bridgend with the production of the "Talk to Me" strategy.
Dr Jewell has worked with colleagues in the NHS to improve health for all by promoting the use of effective and efficient treatments. This has included advocating and supporting the 1000 Lives Plus campaign and encouraging health research and getting knowledge into practice.
He has been particularly interested that Wales builds on its health research strengths and retains its global reputation as a place of innovation and expertise. He has worked closely with academics in Universities across the country to foster closer working and bringing research more quickly into practice. He led the launch of the National Institute for Health and Social Care Research and the NHS Academic Health Service Collaboration. Wales now has one Biochemical Research/MRC Centre and three Biochemical Units in Cardiff, Swansea and Bangor which support research excellence.
Dr Jewell has also been instrumental in creating a new infrastructure for Public Health in Wales. This has included leading the creation of the Public Health Wales NHS Trust with its key areas of work across the domains of public health practice and the appointment of Directors of Public Health in Local Health Boards.
As CMO he has also strongly advocated the creation of a Public Health Observatory and Public Health Institute for Wales. As they fully develop these will do much to help us understand the determinants of health and develop ways we can take effective action.
Dr Jewell has been proud to work with colleagues in health links with developing countries in Africa. He continues to raise the profile of the Wales for Africa links and has visited several projects to support them and assess their contribution.
He has supported the development of an International Health Strategy for Wales which facilitate a coordinated approach to this work for the NHS and wider Welsh health community. He has also led the Chongqing, Wales’ public health and primary care MOU to look at learning and sharing innovation in health, linking Cardiff with the Chinese University Hong Kong and Chongqing.
Dr Jewell said:
"It has been an enormous privilege to hold the position of CMO. When I was appointed I said I would undertake the role for five years and so I feel that the time is right to move on.
"I’d like to thank all the staff who have supported me during my time as CMO. I am proud of what’s been achieved during my tenure and they have been instrumental in those successes.
"I’m particularly proud that public health now plays a much more influential role in the NHS than ever before. In particular, the restructuring of the NHS saw Directors of Public Health appointed in every organisation and the creation of Public Health Wales has cemented health protection, promotion and prevention as vital for a sustainable, healthier Wales.
"Strategies such as Our Healthy Future have also laid the foundations for the NHS to place a greater emphasis on prevention and promotion and focusing on making the NHS a ‘wellness’ service rather than a sickness service. Only by focusing on prevention can we tackle the big public health issues such as smoking, obesity and alcohol and make the NHS more efficient."
Dr Jewell will retire next summer but said he intends to continue to contribute to public health internationally, particularly in Sub Saharan Africa.
First Minister Carwyn Jones said:
"Tony has played a leading role in terms of developing Wales’s reputation as a country which follows progressive public health policies.
"In particular, his recommendations on protecting children from the effects of smoking was the main reason I proposed legislation if we do not achieve a further fall in smoking rates.
"I have been hugely grateful for Tony’s advice and wish him all the best for the future."
David Sissling, Director General of the Department of Health, Social Services and Children and NHS Wales Chief Executive, said:
"It has been a real pleasure and a privilege working with Tony. His passion for his profession is reflected in the increased focus on public health across the NHS and he will be a hard act to follow."