In many ways, the role given to Thelma Holland is the most interim of all the interim posts.

In many ways, the role given to Thelma Holland is the most interim of all the interim posts.

The transitional leader of the South West and chief executive of South West Peninsula strategic health authority will stay in her post until acting NHS chief executive Sir Ian Carruthers steps down and takes the permanent post running South West Peninsula ? assuming he does.

Ms Holland started her health service career in nursing and health visiting, working in both the acute and community sectors.

After moving abroad to work as a community development worker in south India, followed by a variety of nurse management roles, she became director of community nursing and learning disability in 1982.

A series of jobs in management consultancy followed until in 1990 she became unit general manger at Nottingham City Hospital trust. Just two years later she had been appointed chief executive.

After secondments to health authority chief executive posts in South Derbyshire and South Humber health authorities, she became chief executive for the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly HA, and in 2002, chief executive of South West Peninsula SHA.

Her interest in amateur dramatics may serve her well during an extended acting period.

Ms Holland was on leave when these interviews took place.