Our weekly guide to healthcare's most influential people

Name: Ron Kerr New job: Chief executive, National Care Standards Commission Style: Former colleagues describe him as 'very much of the [Sir Alan] Langlands school'; a 'manager's manager' well-known at ground level, who was perhaps at his peak as director of North Thames region, which he led until December 1998.In the same year he was made a CBE.Those who have worked with him say Mr Kerr stays cool in a crisis - indeed, is 'incredibly relaxed'as the proverbial hits the fan.During his time at North Thames regional office he saw the controversial West London Partnership through 'nightmarish'planning stages.

'Fantastic contacts'notes one former colleague, who says 'he knew the NHS backwards'.

'In that sort of job, squished between the service and the politicians, he veered more towards the service, ' recalls one civil servant, fondly.

Background: First rose to fame as the tabloids''Mr Moneybags'when he was put in charge of NHS 'income generation'wheezes in 1988.He headed North West Thames regional health authority from 1993, and was regional director of North Thames from 1994.But two into one didn't go: when the region merged with South Thames to become London region, Nigel Crisp emerged victorious as chief executive - and we all know what became of him.

Mr Kerr instead became director of operations for the NHS Executive, a role he has had for three years.

Future prospects: As inaugural head of the NCSC, he will take over the gruelling task of inspecting social care services and private nursing homes from next April.