Name: Simon Stevens.

Job: Special adviser to health secretary Alan Milburn.

Location: Whitehall - where else?

Style: Cool, urbane, behind-the-scenes fixer.

Background: Originally appointed as a special adviser by Frank Dobson, he effortlessly rode Alan Milburn's return and continues to exert a strong influence. Or so it can be assumed from his work on the NHS plan and his busy intray: two white papers and a health bill have received his attention recently. He was commissioning and primary care director at East Sussex, Brighton and Hove health authority when appointed by Mr Dobson. At the time, two things were said of him: he was 'incredibly bright' and 'amazingly good looking'.The first is undoubtedly true. The years have taken just a slight toll on the second.

Profile: Ultra-discrete. Mr Stevens would never be caught boasting about his achievements.' In my current post, to be remembered is to have been seen to have failed, 'he told HSJ in a rare and generally telegraphic interview shortly after his arrival at Richmond House.

Education: University at Oxford, where he was president of the Union in the term that saw a visit by Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, and Strathclyde, followed by the NHS management training scheme - on which his nickname was 'Wunderkind'.

Future prospects: Speculation that Mr Stevens has his eye on a place in Parliament may be wide of the mark; there is no suggestion he is going anywhere soon.And if he does leave the DoH it is more likely to be for a job as a trust chief executive - or for an appointment in New York, his partner's 'home town'.