Chief executive of NHS Birmingham East and North - and HSJ columnist - Sophia Christie’s clear thinking on the challenges facing the NHS has won her many followers and drives debate on PCT and commissioning freedoms.

She is not afraid of controversy - as long ago as October 2008 highlighting the challenge the recession would pose for the NHS. But she also delivers on the ground: her PCT was in the top three under the world class commissioning assessment and is known for innovation in a deprived area.