NHS medical director ▼20

Sir Bruce’s huge achievement and major passion - as a distinguished surgeon and NHS medical director - has been to publish information comparing outcomes from hospital treatment. So as the new health secretary arrived in May prioritising exactly this, he could be forgiven some satisfaction.

Work to measure and compare quality has progressed in recent years but the new government, by promising to replace NHS targets with an “outcomes framework”, has made it critical. There will also be pressure for the project to avoid pitfalls such as resurrecting targets under the banner of quality.

Sir Bruce’s move down the ranking reflects concern within the new administration that his passion has not always been translated into action since he joined government. However, few doubt that he will continue to be a pivotal figure.