Professor Dame Carol is the first national director for health and work. She conducted a major review of the health of Britain’s working age population, which emphasised the role of the NHS in maintaining working people’s health and getting the unwell back to work.

The report was generally welcomed but there was scepticism about what the NHS could do without additional resources; nevertheless, Fit for Work Service pilots are getting under way. She is also chair of the Nuffield Trust, and is a past president of the Royal College of Physicians and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.