Name: Marianne Rigge Job: Director, College of Health Style: Consumer champion who has 'done a hell of a lot for NHS patients'.Pioneer of hospital waiting-list information, with the College of Health's national waiting-list helpline set up in 1992 and helping nearly 40,000 patients.Now the mod squad at the National Patients Access Team are asking for those outpatient wait figures, too.Despite sitting on every conceivable health-related working group and committee to ensure the patients'voice is heard, she still finds time to pick up the phone to help callers herself and is widely held up as 'a very nice person'.Won an award for health journalism.
OBE for 'services to health services'.
Background: Age seven, was severely burned when her nightdress caught fire and experienced a grim hospital regime in the early days of the NHS.Her hands were tied to prevent scratching and her bed was wheeled into the bathroom as punishment after she dropped a 'horrible' NHS pudding.'It wasn't so easy to eat with your hands tied up, 'she says.As a GP's daughter, she helped answer the phone at night and filed patients'records.After university, she worked at the Consumers'Association and then the National Consumer Council before founding the Mutual Aid Centre in 1977 and then the College of Health, with Michael - now Lord - Young, in 1983.
Future prospects: Will have plenty to say about the government's revised patient and public involvement plans as they emerge from last term's CHC abolition debacle.Must be due a seat in the Lords.In the meantime, see her on a taskforce near you.