Frank Atherton

Frank Atherton
Frank Atherton.jpg
Chief Medical Officer for Wales
Assumed office
1 August 2016
Preceded byDr Ruth Hussey
Personal details
EducationUniversity of Leeds
Known forChief Medical Officer for Wales

Sir Francis Atherton is a British physician who is the Chief Medical Officer for Wales.[1][2]


Atherton is originally from Lancashire, England.[3]


Atherton was formerly deputy chief medical officer in the Department of Health and Wellness in Nova Scotia, Canada, director of public health in north Lancashire, and president of the UK Association of Directors of Public Health.[4][3] He was appointed as Chief Medical Officer for Wales in April 2016, following the retirement of the previous postholder, Dr Ruth Hussey.[3]

Atherton at a COVID-19 Welsh Government press conference in December 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic in Wales, Atherton said that he was attempting to reduce the risk of transmission by taking "all appropriate measures".[5]

Atherton was knighted in the 2022 New Year Honours for services to public health.[6]


  1. ^ "Coronavirus: First case in Wales confirmed". BBC News. 28 February 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Dr. Frank Atherton (The University of Manchester)". Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "Dr Frank Atherton appointed Wales' new Chief Medical Officer". 29 April 2016. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  4. ^ "Dr Frank Atherton: Chief Medical Officer". GOV.WALES. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  5. ^ "Coronavirus: First Welsh case among three new UK diagnoses". BBC. 28 February 2020. Archived from the original on 28 February 2020. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  6. ^ "No. 63571". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 2022. p. N2.

External links

Media files used on this page

Christmas rules update for those previously shielding Neges i bobl a oedd yn gwarchod am y Nadolig.webm
(c) Welsh Government / Llywodraeth Cymru, CC BY 3.0
Welsh Government adviseory video on Christmas rules, for those previously shielding. Chief Medical Officer, Dr Frank Atherton explaining what the relaxation of the rules means for those who were previously shielding.
Frank Atherton.jpg
Author/Creator: Welsh government, Licence: OGL 3
Frank Atherton