What is the first thing you do when you arrive at work?

Listen to my voice mail - a great invention.

What do you like/dislike about your job?

Like: influencing policy, helping people bring about change. Dislike: so many opportunities, not enough time and money.

What do your colleagues think of you?

They say they like my clear no-nonsense approach.

What is your proudest achievement?

My children. And doing an M.Phil degree in mid life.

What is your tip for success?

Take time out to study every now and then.

What is your worst business mistake?

Not many - and not for publication!

What do you do to relax?

Swim, country walks, enjoy London's wonderful cultural life.

What book has influenced you?

Solitude by Anthony Storr.

How would you like to be remembered?

Grit in the NHS oyster.

Which person in the NHS do you most admire?

People with long-term illness who manage their lives, and health professionals who help them do it.

What would make the single biggest improvement in the NHS?

A real commitment to making patients partners.

Who is your ideal health secretary?

Anyone who can take forward a sense of vision for the NHS and is prepared for the long haul to achieve it.