Our weekly guide to healthcare's most influential people

Name: Karen Bell Job: Chief executive, Huntingdonshire primary care trust Style: Woman with a mission to 'mainstream' human resources.A rising star in primary care and a career HR manager who has cracked the glass ceiling to move into the chief exec's office.She is part of the team that puts together the NHS Confederation's pay review body evidence.This is a woman so dedicated to improving working lives and killing off the long-hours culture that she was prepared to lead a fringe meeting on the topic at the Confed conference - at 7.45am.

Background: A remarkably barrier-free CV.Started in 1983 as unit personnel manager at Cambridge health authority, moving to become personnel director at Cambridge city council in 1987.

Returned to the NHS as HR director with Lifespan Healthcare trust in 1992.Her partner was then chief exec at a first-wave trust - and 'that sounded really exciting'.Promoted to deputy chief exec at Lifespan, where she set up a management development agency as a trading arm.Through the agency, did four short stints working in South Africa with the health minister, a member of the ANC - a 'fascinating, wonderful, amazing' experience.Got the top job at Huntingdonshire PCG in 1999 and was elected president of the Association of Healthcare Human Resource Managers in the same year.And she's a 'master practioner'of neuro-linguistic programming, no less.

Future prospects: Consolidation, as the PCT has only been running six months. Says she might want a national job in a few years - 'but not yet'.

Globetrotting organisational development also possible.