HSJ100: 076 -100

76 - Niall Dickson

Chief executive, General Medical Council (2010 ranking: 83)

After all the fuss over the “burdensome” revalidation requirements being imposed by the General Medical Council, the scheme should finally be in place next year. In addition, Mr Dickson has quietly extracted assurances from government on language testing for doctors. GP conflicts of interest will also keep him busy in the move to clinical commissioning.

77 - Bob Alexander

Finance director, NHS South (New entry)

Mr Alexander has just moved from the DH to keep an eye on finances across the south. In addition to his day job he will remain influential nationally and has been linked to the finance director’s job at the NHS Commissioning Board, although NHS South chief executive Sir Ian Carruthers will fight to keep him.

78 - Jennifer Dixon

Director, Nuffield Trust (2010 ranking: 72)

As the DH slims down its research and policy capability, the more organisations such as the Nuffield Trust increase their influence. The energetic Dr Dixon has been successful in attracting some important work to her practically minded think tank on key areas such as integration and the funding of clinical commissioning groups.

79 - Mike Dixon

Chair, NHS Alliance (2010 ranking: 50)

Having led the NHS Alliance into a coalition with the National Association for Primary Care, Dr Dixon now co-chairs the nearest thing to an umbrella body for clinical commissioning groups. A critical friend of the reforms, Dr Dixon will be instrumental in representing CCGs and maintaining their enthusiasm for the changes.

80 - Katie Davis

Interim managing director of NHS Infomatics (New entry)

Ms Davis was parachuted into Connecting for Health from the Cabinet Office to wind down the national IT programme. It remains to be seen what can be salvaged from the electronic patient record contracts. But with a “plural” market approach to IT provision, Ms Davis could be gatekeeper to a liberated NHS technology market.

81 - Nicolaus Henke

Director, McKinsey (2010 ranking: 53)

Less seen in the corridors of power than previously, the head of McKinsey’s European healthcare practice is still much sought after for his experience and ideas. Long a champion of (competitive) integrated care, he is active in shaping both new forms of service delivery and how they will be regulated.

82 - Andrew Dilnot

Chair of the Commission on Funding of Care and Support (New entry)

Mr Dilnot has been vocal in urging the government to take forward his July recommendations on social care funding. The administration’s support for his proposals is unclear, but expect trouble if they fail to make it into 2012’s social care white paper. Ministers may well come to regret recruiting this media savvy operator.

83 - Duncan Selbie

Chief executive, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust (New entry)

Although technically only a humble trust chief since 2007, the DH’s first director general of commissioning retains the ear of those in power. Mr Selbie is part of the NHS Future Forum’s education and training workstream and has been seen at Number 10’s health policy “kitchen cabinet”.

84 - Stuart Bell

Chief executive, South London and Maudsley Foundation Trust (2010 ranking: 73)

Mr Bell is a key player in developing payment by results for mental health, for which the shadow running year starting in April will be all important. His trust may become part of the first NHS “mega trust”, which would put Mr Bell in the middle of an ambitious integration project.

85 - Sir Stephen Bubb

Chief executive, Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (New entry)

The demotion of Sir Stephen from Future Forum strand leader to member suggests his championing of a pro-competition NHS was a bit strong for ministers. But he has the ear of politicians in all the main parties and the ability to create headlines.

86 - Jane Cummings

Chief nurse, NHS North of England (New entry)

Leading the Energise for Excellence programme, Ms Cummings is an advocate of “high impact” nurse actions to make care safer and more efficient. She is on the Future Forum and is considered the frontrunner for the chief nursing officer role at the NHS Commissioning Board.

87 - Richard Vautrey

Deputy chair, BMA GPs committee (2010 ranking: 27)

His drop in ranking merely reflects how much was on Dr Vautrey’s plate in 2011, ensuring ministers addressed GP concerns over reform. In 2012 he will be in the thick of debate on commissioning, revalidation and the quality and outcomes framework.

88 - Geoff Alltimes

Co-chair, NHS Future Forum strand on integrating services (2010 ranking: 86)

Mr Alltimes can help determine whether the current obsession with “integration” of care amounts to more than a platitude. The recently retired Hammersmith and Fulham Council chief executive championed joint commissioning. Will his report, due in December and set to influence the social care white paper, promote this nationally?

89 - David Haslam

President, BMA (New entry)

An expert member of the National Quality Board and a clinical adviser to the Care Quality Commission, Professor Haslam’s views on raising the standard of services are heard where it counts. Jointly leading the Future Forum’s information workstream, he will also influence key policies such as access to patient records.

90 - Norman Williams

President, Royal College of Surgeons (New entry)

“Surgery hasn’t been sexy”, Professor Williams has said regarding a shortage of surgical research funds. He also has the chance to make his mark on another unsexy topic, medical training. Other areas where he is likely to exert pressure include competition, reconfiguration and the working time directive.

91 - Mark Britnell

Global head of health, KPMG (2010 ranking: 10)

Mr Britnell owes his 81-place plunge down the rankings to the controversy created by alleged remarks he made about the government’s reforms showing the NHS “no mercy”.  It will be a while until he returns to the policy inner circle, but the former DH director general remains well connected and respected.

92 - Jeremy Taylor

Chief executive, National Voices (New entry)

National Voices is the leading coalition of health and social care charities. Its influence was recognised in Mr Taylor’s appointment as co-chair of the Future Forum’s information workstream. His nine years at the Treasury will stand him in good stead when the debate turns to the affordability of patient demand.

93 - Sir Andrew Cash

Chief executive, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust (2010 ranking: 85)

Sheffield FT is a northern giant that has kept an even keel on finance, performance and quality. Sir Andrew is in the Shelford Group of leading trust chiefs and has just become chair of the NHS Employers policy board.

94 - Ceri Thomas 

Editor, Today programme, BBC Radio 4 (37)

Today remains the most influential shaper of daily policy debate. As the programme’s editor, Mr Thomas’s choice of story is therefore profoundly important. His slip down the rankings reflects a view that the NHS may not be as big a political story next year as it was in 2011.

95 - Nigel Edwards

Consultant (2010 ranking: 25)

The former NHS Confederation policy director remains a perceptive observer of reform. His freelance status means he drops out of the top 50, but his experience has already been tapped by the Mid Staffordshire inquiry, King’s Fund, KPMG and World Health Organization.

96 - Simon Stevens

Executive vice president, UnitedHealth (2010 ranking: 95)

The leading architect of New Labour’s NHS reforms as Tony Blair’s health policy adviser, Mr Stevens is now heavily involved in rethinking of US healthcare. However, he regularly returns home and, when he does, few doors in Whitehall or the health world are closed to him.

97 - Tim Straughan

Chief executive, NHS Information Centre (2010 ranking: 81)

The long awaited – and delayed – NHS “information revolution” should arrive in 2012. Mr Straughan’s organisation will be asked to do much of the heavy lifting in distributing newly liberated data to the service and public. There will also be an increased tendency to both encourage and blame its role in highlighting performance.

98 - Nick Timmins

Writer, Financial Times (2010 ranking: 20)

Mr Timmins’ drop in the rankings reflects his decision to split his time between writing and research. He is leading a study of the NHS reforms for the King’s Fund and Institute for Government which reports next year. However, it is his byline that still commands greatest attention among policy makers.

99 - Lord Layard

Programme director of the London School of Economics’ wellbeing project (New entry)

Credited with inspiring the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies talking therapies programme, Richard Layard now focuses on the happiness index – a pet project of David Cameron’s. Launched with the expectation of influencing policy, including health, the plan to measure national wellbeing may struggle in austere times, but the professor is an effective lobbyist.

100 - Liz Kendall

Shadow minister for care and older people (New entry)

Ms Kendall joined the shadow cabinet in the latest reshuffle. She will lead Labour’s response to the long term care funding reforms. A former DH adviser and director of the Ambulance Service Network, she is respected for her knowledge and good sense.