'I'll be working to put prevention at the heart of healthcare'
WALES'S new top doctor has said she wants to put prevention at the heart of healthcare.
Dr Ruth Hussey OBE, who is taking on the role of the new Chief Medical Officer/Medical Director for NHS Wales, said she was looking forward to the challenge.
She is moving into the post following the retirement of Dr Tony Jewell in August.
Dr Hussey said she was looking forward to: "to contributing to the work of the Welsh Government, addressing the challenges of improving the health and well being of the population and supporting the provision of high-quality healthcare.
"I'm looking forward to making a difference in a role which ranges from tackling the causes of illness, to caring for people.
"Building on Dr Jewell's extensive work, I'll be working to put prevention at the heart of healthcare, and to promote improved quality of care across Wales.
"It's a broad role, reflecting the breadth of solutions needed to address the health and well being challenges we face in Wales."
She added: "Everyone has a part to play, so building relationships and integrated approaches will be critical.
"I am honoured to have the opportunity to serve the people of Wales in this role and I am committed to doing all I can to improve health and well being in the 21st century."
Dr Hussey, who will be paid £170,000 a year, was born and brought up in the Conwy Valley and she lived in the area until she went to university.
She worked as Regional Director of Public Health/ Senior Medical Director at NHS North West and led the Department of Health in the North West region.
Since April 2011 she has been on secondment to the Public Health England Transition Team at the Department of Health, leading the switch of public health from the NHS to Local Government.
Dr Hussey previously held the posts of Director of Health Strategy/Medical Director at Cheshire and Merseyside Strategic Health Authority between April 2002 and July 2006 and between November 2005 and June 2006, Ruth was also the Acting Director of Public Health /Medical Director at Greater Manchester Strategic Health Authority.
Beforehand, she held the post of Director of Public Health for Liverpool between 1991 and 2002.
Welsh Health Minister Lesley Griffiths added: "I'm pleased to welcome Dr Hussey to Wales.
"She is well placed to lead the NHS during the period of change ahead.
"It is an exciting time to be working in health in Wales, and I know she will build on Dr Jewell's work to help us create the conditions for healthier lifestyles and improved healthcare for all."