Bill Moyes has climbed three places despite the government’s recent strikes at the foundation trust reforms, the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust scandal and having only two months left in post.

He has doggedly defended foundation trust freedoms, forcing a partial retreat by ministers on deregistering them. His placing is tribute to his capable defence of those reforms against pressure prompted partly by Mid Staffs - and to the expectation that he will return to the health world.

Mr Moyes, asked to name his greatest failure as executive chair of the foundation regulator, cited its dysfunctional relationship with the Department of Health. He has had to grow spikier still this year in response to a lack of reforming momentum and ministers’ proposals to write themselves into Monitor’s decision making about failing foundations.

He could not stop outrage over Mid Staffs being directed at the foundation movement as a whole, and resulting in the de-authorisation plans. But the independence foundations and their regulator still have owes much to his tough approach and refusal to “lower the bar”.

The former banker, whose request for “downside” plans from FTs jump-started local preparation for cuts, is said to be planning his future. He has stretched his period of office to touching distance of a new Tory government which wants to expand Monitor into a new style system regulator of all health providers.