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Mark Drakeford AM

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We fund the National Health Service in Wales and develop policy and strategy for improving health, social care in Wales.
Mark Drakeford AM
Biographical details and Ministerial responsibilities of the Minister for Health and Social Services.

Mark was born and brought up in west Wales before moving to Cardiff more than 30 years ago. Since then he has lived in the Pontcanna area of Cardiff. A former probation officer, youth justice worker and Barnardos project leader in Ely and Caerau, he has been a professor of Social Policy and Applied Social Sciences at Cardiff University. Mark has also taught previously at Swansea University.

In the 1980s and 1990s Mark was a Labour Councillor on South Glamorgan County Council, specialising in education issues, including Welsh medium education. Between 2000 and 2010 he worked as the Cabinet’s health and social policy adviser at the Welsh Government, and was latterly head of the First Minister’s political office. He has a 30 year knowledge of the Cardiff West constituency.

Mark became the Assembly Member for Cardiff West in May 2011. He was Chair of the Assembly’s Health and Social Care Committee from July 2011 - March 13 and of the All-Wales Programme Monitoring Committee for European funds from July 2011 – March 13. He was appointed Minister for Health and Social Services in March 2013.

The Minister for Health and Social Services is responsible for:

  • All aspects of the National Health Service (NHS) in Wales, including contracts with the primary care contractor professionals, other than (i) oversight of the medical professions; (ii) policy on surrogacy, xenotransplantation, embryology and human genetics; and (iii) licensing of medicines (these matters are not devolved);
  • Charges for NHS services, including prescription, dental and ophthalmic and optical charges;
  • The provision of services in Wales to the mentally ill;
  • All aspects of public health and health protection in Wales, including food safety and the fluoridation of drinking water;
  • The activities of the Food Standards Agency in Wales;
  • The regulation of poisons;
  • Substance misuse (including the delivery of the substance misuse strategy);
  • Genetically-modified food (but not the cultivation of genetically-modified crops - this is for the Minister for Natural Resources and Food);
  • Receiving and responding to reports from, the Health Care Inspectorate for Wales; directing specific inspections when required;
  • Oversight of the Wales Audit Office`s activities so far as relating to the National Health Service in Wales;
  • Research and Development in health and social care;
  • Post-graduate medical education;
  • The inspection and enforcement of the Medicine Act 1968 in Wales; and
  • Responsibility for the Prison Service health service, other than private contracts.

The Minister for Health and Social Services also has overall responsibility for those areas listed under the responsibilities allocated to the Deputy Minister for Social Services. However, the Deputy Minister has for all practical purposes, day-to-day responsibility for these functions.

In some cases Deputy Ministers will also have a relationship with other Ministers in respect of cross cutting issues.

Writing to Ministers

Contact Mark Drakeford by email at:

We aim to provide a response to correspondence to Ministers, including electronic mail within 17 working days.  Ministers will respond to matters that fall within their portfolio. Please follow the link ‘Writing to Ministers’ on the left hand side to direct your correspondence to the right Minister.