Jeremy Heywood is unlikely to be a household name for many NHS staff: but as permanent secretary to prime minister Gordon Brown, he sits at the heart of government.

His experience of working in the Treasury and for Conservative chancellors will probably serve him well over the next few years as boom gives way to austerity and a Labour government conceivably gives way to a Conservative one. With over 20 years in the civil service, and time in investment banking, he has been tipped as a possible future cabinet secretary.