Director general of NHS finance, performance and operations, Department of Health DOWN 3

When the Department of Health sends out a bad news letter about tariffs and efficiencies, the name at the end is usually David Flory.

Mr Flory is, at heart, a public servant and professes “a real desire to make public services better”. He has a long track record in the NHS - having held regional chief executive posts since 1999 - and is much better known to his peers than to the wider world where he keeps a low profile.

He has a long experience of steering the NHS through stormy financial waters too: he was the DH’s troubleshooter for NHS organisations and regions hit by deficits in 2006-07 before his current role.

But this may be nothing compared with the challenge of squaring up to £14bn of efficiency savings while undertaking the most fundamental reforms in NHS history.

Questions about keeping GP consortia in balance, what to do with the remaining PCT estates, the final bill for PCT and SHA staff redundancies and whether NHS organisations can be allowed to fail financially will all be coming across his desk.