‘Pioneering health expert Mansel Aylward overjoyed at knighthood’
A PIONEERING South Wales health expert has been knighted by the Queen in recognition of a lifetime of service.
Mansel Aylward received the honour at Windsor Castle after being named in the New Year’s Honours.
Sir Mansel, chairman of Public Health Wales, is one of only a few people to receive a knighthood after previously being made a Companion of the Order of the Bath.
“I owe a very considerable debt to my family, to colleagues at Public Health Wales and Cardiff University and to all those people in my life who have nurtured and supported me without whom I would not have gained the knighthood.
“I am so very grateful and delighted, especially that this honour marks a contribution to health and healthcare in Wales.”
Sir Mansel, who grew up in the poverty of the 1950s in Merthyr Tydfil, is also the director of the Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research at Cardiff University.
And he is the architect of plans to create Wales’ first health park, which would bring primary healthcare, social services and citizen’s advice under one roof, in Merthyr Tydfil.
Much of Sir Mansel’s life’s work has been inspired by the town in which he was born and still lives. His own research includes the factors which pose obstacles to recovery in Wales, public beliefs about illness and disability and the relations between work and health.
Many of the research projects, in Wales and elsewhere, aim to develop practical public health interventions.
Sir Mansel was formerly the chief medical adviser, medical director and chief scientist to the Department for Work and Pensions.
He was also chief medical adviser and head of profession at the Veterans’ Agency, Ministry of Defence. In 2001 he was appointed as the Royal Society of Medicine’s academic sub dean for Wales.
Sir Mansel trained as a physician and specialised in rheumatology, rehabilitation, therapeutics and clinical pharmacology.
He has played a key role in the development of the UK’s medical assessment for incapacity – the all-work test – the personal capability assessment and the “pathways to work” initiative for vocational rehabilitation.
It was for this work that he was made a Companion of the Bath – an order of knighthood – in the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours List in 2002.