Remembering Professor John Wyn Owen CB – a plenary meeting tribute


Members of the Bevan Commission will be paying tributes and holding a one minute silence at its plenary meeting on March 5 to honour their colleague Bevan Commissioner Professor John Wyn Owen CB who recently passed away following a long illness.

Professor Owen was a key member of Wales’s leading health think tank, championing prudent healthcare and promoting strong leadership and the delivery of high quality, safe care in NHS Wales.

He had a long and distinguished career in the NHS in Wales, the wider UK and overseas, including becoming the first director of the NHS in Wales in 1985.

Bevan Commission Chair Professor Sir Mansel Aylward who will be leading the tributes at the plenary meeting said it was important to recognise Professor Owen’s remarkable achievements.

He said, “John was such a valued member of the Bevan Commission and brought wisdom, challenge, erudite knowledge and expertise which fully exploited his distinguished career.

“At our first meeting since his passing, it is vital that we take time to share our thoughts, celebrate his achievements and honour his life.

“He was so committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the people in Wales and beyond, and his legacy will continue to drive forward the work of the Commission to ensure we have a high quality, prudent and sustainable health and care service.”

Ensuring the delivery of a prudent approach to health, care and wellbeing in Wales would be a great legacy to Professor Owen and this dominates the rest of the agenda of the plenary meeting, which is being held in the School of Management in Swansea University.

The internationally renowned  Bevan Commissioners will be discussing a prudent approach to primary care being undertaken in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

There will also be a focus on a prudent approach to mental health and wellbeing with presentations from two members of the Welsh Government’s Mental Health, Vulnerable Groups and NHS Governance department, Director Jo-Anne Davies and Deputy Director Tracey Breheny.

Members will also have further debate and discussion on a Quality System for Wales including sound governance following the recent publication of the paper Valuing Governance: Resetting the Dial – authors of the paper Public Health Wales Chair Jan Williams and Independent Governance Consultant Steve Combe will be in attendance.

Bevan Commission Director Helen Howson said, ‘We are looking forward to further debate and discussion on important issues around the delivery of a prudent approach to health, care and wellbeing, and the importance of quality and governance in this.

“We are always looking to challenge thinking and find sustainable solutions that best suit the needs of people in Wales and we are lucky to be able to draw on the considerable expertise of our Bevan Commissioners to help us do that.”

The Bevan Commission, hosted and supported by Swansea University, provides independent, authoritative advice on health and care to the Welsh Government and leaders in NHS Wales, the UK and beyond.

It focuses on how Wales may achieve its ambition of building healthcare services based upon Aneurin Bevan’s core principles to best meet the needs of the people of Wales, matching the best comparable systems elsewhere in the world.

The Bevan Commission hold quarterly plenary meetings and the next one will take place in June 2020.