Chief executive, Care Quality Commission (2010 ranking: 51)

Ms Bower has already stayed in post far longer than many predicted and her once rocky relationship with the health secretary appears to have improved. But the question remains whether her reign will survive the public inquiry into Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, due to report next year, and the critical chorus of MPs and patient groups.

Ms Bower has developed an action plan that includes more inspections and a delay to GP registration. She will be hoping the CQC’s forthcoming annual inspections, reinforced with extra clinical expertise, move the spotlight onto substandard care and away from the regulator’s internal troubles.