Managing director of provider development, DH. NEW ENTRY

Jumping straight into the top 20, Ian Dalton is now at the heart of the reform programme and someone to watch. A favourite of Sir David Nicholson, he was plucked last year from his post as chief executive of NHS North East and put on secondment as national director for NHS flu resilience. After a stint back in the North East, Sir David called him back to oversee preparation of the provider system, including design of the new regulatory regime.  

Mr Dalton has deep provider and delivery experience and also led the reconstruction of the health service in southern Iraq. The future development of foundation trusts may well depend on his actions and he has made a shrewd move by creating a wider reference group for himself led by Mike Deegan (59).  

Mr Dalton’s agenda should include whether now is the time to have a proper failure regime for the NHS. Making progress on this will be a significant test. His work should put him in a strong position to be chief executive of the new economic regulator if that’s where he sees his future. If so, then his outputs in the next year will be as important to him as to the NHS.   

Neil Goodwin, director, GoodwinHannah