Dr Dafydd Huws (1936 – 2011)

August 3rd, 2011 by Admin Leave a reply »
Dr Dafydd Huws

Dr Dafydd Huws

It is with great sadness that we have to report the death of Dr Dafydd Huws at the age of 75.
Dafydd was appointed Consultant Psychiatrist at Whitchurch Hospital in 1971 and retired in 1996. He had been a medical student in Cardiff and also undertaken his post graduate training in the Cardiff area.
His consultant responsibilities including looking after the day hospital at Tegfan, as well as providing general psychiatric care to an adult population. Prior to retirement he had been clinical director and subsequently medical director to the Cardiff Community NHS Trust.
It is almost impossible to condense into a few paragraphs his life and work as a psychiatrist, as well as conveying something of the person and character that he was. His energy and enthusiasm permeated everything that he did. Dafydd had a special interest in eating disorders and psychosomatic illness. He never failed to be intrigued by the different ways people and personalities presented their illness. He was genuinely interested in the human condition and how we cope with stress and adversity. His approach was not always conventional, but he was usually successful, I think its fair to say that he would not have felt comfortable working in today’s managed care system.
One of his strengths was as a communicator; He often used analogy to explain concepts. One of the more enduring in explaining psychosomatic illness  being the overfull suitcase, which if the contents were not allowed to bulge out of the front, would manifest as pressure in a different part of the container. He was in demand as a lecturer and speaker, but also by the media who sought his view when any story of a psychiatric relevance broke.
He was a great mentor for any young psychiatrist, and always ready with good advice, one of his favourites was the assertion that the secret of a long career in psychiatry was to do something completely different – and he did that with gusto.  He was an active member of Plaid Cymru, their first councilor in Cardiff, and one time party chairman. He ran several farms, and enjoyed relating the story and how he used to bring back orphaned lambs from his farm near Aberystwyth and keep them in the residency in medical quarters during the working week, and the great lengths he would go to in order to dodge the cleaner. His interest in renewable  energy he later turned into a business, owning and running one of the first wind farms in Wales.
Dafydd perhaps more than anything else was a proud Welshman, and was unflinching in his support of the language and culture, this naturally extended to his patronage of the Welsh Psychiatric Society and y Gyndeithas Feddygol. He had a keen intellect and wrote Welsh poetry and enjoyed nothing better during work breaks than discussing philosophy and theology with his colleagues.
During his final illness he did a radio programme. Interviewed in Welsh he talked about his life and career. He talked very openly about his cancer and how it had affected him, but commented that he would not have wished to have lived without it. He felt that the experience had in many ways changed him and enriched his being – a comment typical of the man who could see the positive and value in most things.
His funeral took place in Bow Street, Aberystwyth on the 9th of July. He leaves a widow Rhian, and five children, two of whom have followed him into the medical profession.

Thanks to Dr John Lewis for this post


1 comment

  1. June Sexton says:

    I remember Dafydd Hughes with fond memories we in catering would take the doctors meals to the doctors quarters, and one of our staff Millie Jones was a favourite of his , she would wash his socks and underwear for hime if he stayed over night at the hospital. Millie was a remarkable lady , she came from the valleys and it took one hour to get to the hospital on the bus , so her day started at four thirty AM she worked a ten hour day and then travelled an hour home, making her day twelve hours , now apart from all that , she cleaned the doctors quarters on her hands and knees and in between served in the Staff Dining Room, she was a treasure and Dafydd Hughes thought the world of her , he was such a kind honest man .

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