Our weekly guide to healthcare's most influential people No 65

Published: 11/4/2002, Volume II2, No. 5800 Page 24 25

Name: Helen Bevan Job: Director of redesign, Modernisation Agency Style: Marathon woman.Not only has she clocked up the 26 miles in New Zealand and London but she's got the stamina to start work at 5 or 6am.

Described as 'fantastic', 'very driven' and 'a nonstop person, full of ideas', although one observer mentions a 'tendency to rattle on'.Perhaps It is something to do with quotes like, 'We need second-order change where we stand back and look at the whole system.' First-order change, it seems, is awkward stuff about service and financial framework rounds and so on.Has renovated her own 16th-century cottage and also restores - or re-engineers - furniture.

Background: After a social science degree, started work as a benefits officer at Sheffield council's housing department in 1983.Shifted to the education department in 1985 as a principal admin assistant, then chief admin officer, before a move to the city's Stradbroke College as enterprise director in 1990.Her first step into health came in 1991, when she became Trent region's assistant director for marketing. In 1993 she began a fiveyear stint leading Leicester Royal Infirmary's famed re-engineering programme, under then chief executive Dr Peter Homa.The national patient action team snapped her up in 1998, before becoming a key part of the Mod Squad.Not one to stick to the day job, she picked up a doctorate in business admin and a visiting professorship at De Montford University.Got her OBE in January 2001.

Future prospects: Redesigning a service near you soon, until a strategic health authority asks her to sort out all the local health economy's problems.