Name Chai Patel CBE Job Chief executive, Westminster Health Care plc Style New Labour's favourite private healthcare operator, and 'without question, the best networker'in the sector.

Smooth-talking businessman with a philosophical bent: nursing home provision 'is not just physical and temporal - There is a spiritual side, too', while 'healthcare is very emotional'.

Background Practised as a doctor for five years, before founding care-home firm Court Cavendish in 1988, then became chief executive of Care First - the product of its merger with Takare.Resigned after boardroom bust-up with company chair Keith Bradshaw.Member of social work training body CCETSW, governor of the National Institute for Social Work, member of the government's older people and better regulation taskforces; everpresent at speaker conferences.

Profile High and rising.As a member of partnership modernisation action team, was credited with the original idea of transferring elderly people into private nursing homes to free up NHS beds.As it happens, Westminster Health Care has 5,897 beds in 91 homes to offer.Got his gong for 'services to the development of social care policies'in 1999.Suported with a five-figure sum the New Health Network, the think tank launched with high-profile government backing.Donated '£5,000 or more'to the Labour Party in 2000.Attends the same church as Tony Blair's health policy adviser, Robert Hill.

Future prospects Could put off taking philosophy degree to follow in footsteps of businessmen-to-ministers Lords 'BP'Simon and Sainsbury.Sure to keep the bank manager happy, too.