Our weekly guide to healthcare's most influential people

Name: Denise Platt CBE Job: Chief inspector, social services inspectorate Style: Social worker at heart - 'We went round the room and they all introduced themselves, so everyone got to say something'- and proud of it.

But hippy-length hair got the chop when she went to the SSI.An 'able, intellectual'type, who 'reads policy documents in her sleep and then eats them for breakfast'; she can be 'open and very approachable', but also 'fierce'.Rumour has it that the Dobson appointee 'has had rows with Milburn - and she's not one to row quietly'.But, being well up to playing with the players, a snuffly Ms Platt jokes: 'I ignored his advice to get a flu jab and now he's been teasing me all week. . . Go and canvass for the election!'

Colleagues say she's 'very work focused', but recall her 'leading the singing'of 30-odd ADSS members in an Italian restaurant.'She really lets her hair down, 'says one.

Background: Began in the NHS as a hospital social worker before working her way up London's social services to become director at Hammersmith and Fulham.

President of the Association of Directors of Social Services in 1994, joined the Association of Metropolitan Authorities and got her gong in 1996.

Was head of social services at the Local Government Association before going to the SSI in 1998.

Future prospects: Launching a national campaign against '. . . and social care'tokenism in the NHS, before ending up a baroness - 'everyone says she'll be in the Lords', says one commentator.And a czardom is surely within her grasp.