Leaving the house at quarter to five on a Monday morning reminds Pearse Butler why he won't be looking to fill the role running Eastern strategic health authority on a permanent basis.

Leaving the house at quarter to five on a Monday morning reminds Pearse Butler why he won't be looking to fill the role running Eastern strategic health authority on a permanent basis.

For the Liverpool-born NHS manager, uprooting the whole family to the other side of the country at a time when his daughter is doing her A-levels was not an option. 'I have been open about that - I am happy to stay as long as they want me to do it, but I don't see myself as a permanent candidate.'

While he is there, he hopes that as a 'born optimist' he will be able to 'lift up the heads of people in the Eastern region who might feel sometimes that the financial problems are insurmountable'.

For Mr Butler, supporting individual managers is a key part of that role: 'I want chief execs to feel that I am there to support them, because they have got a difficult job.'

What does his management style look like? 'I am very clear. I believe in quite strong, visible leadership: I do try to get out and about a lot.' 'Any weaknesses? 'Maybe something about not listening: I have learned that you can still be clear and strong and listen properly: I certainly know that I don't have all the wisdom.'

Mr Butler comes to the job after four years running Cumbria and Lancashire SHA, and a total of 28 in the NHS, including chief executive stints at Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals trust, Wigan and Leigh trust,

Wirral health authority and Royal Liverpool Children's trust.

Two years spent in management consultancy in the mid-80s were also 'really influential': 'You would go in and see the bowels of an organisation. You learned a lot: from the bad as well as the good.'