Our weekly guide to healthcare's most influential people

Published: 16/01/2003, Volume II3, No. 5838 Page 21

Name: Dr Kieran Walshe

Job: Reader in public management and director of research at Manchester University's centre for healthcare management.

Style: One of management's best friends in academe.Told the Royal Society of Medicine last year that managers were being forced to indulge in 'perverse behaviour' to meet targets.Believes there are important lessons to learn from other public services before trusts cut and paste too much from the private sector. A strong interest in regulation (has a book out on the subject in June) and an affinity with the work of the Commission for Health Improvement ('I've been impressed with how they've taken on a mission impossible').Has been heard to suggest that the chief inspector could end up being more important than the permanent secretary.Other areas of interest include clinical governance and risk management.Married with four children despite his boyish looks - 'barely looks old enough to shave, 'observes one peer. A reputation for driving cars that are older than he is.

Background: NHS management trainee scheme graduate, he left Birmingham University's health services management centre last January after seven years, the final one on a Harkness fellowship in the US.Says the NHS could learn more from overseas management.Advisor to the Bristol baby deaths inquiry.

Future prospects: Even critics of his 'managerial' approach concede that he is a 'clear thinker'and 'one to watch'.