The judging was carried out by a panel of experts from across the health policy and management field.

All the judges excluded themselves from consideration for the HSJ50 list. The prime minister, chancellor, leader of the opposition and shadow chancellor were also excluded.

All those selected to go on the list had to have shown themselves to be influential in constructing or delivering healthcare policy. The judges created a longlist of over 80 names, which involved culling a number of names from 2008’s HSJ50 and adding many whose influence had grown since last year. There was a specific discussion about prominent figures in healthcare who were women from ethnic minorities. There followed a long and lively debate on the final rankings, punctuated by discussions on the nature of power and influence.

The most difficult discussions were about the influence of opposition politicians and the national role of regional health chiefs. While not everyone agreed on every ranking, a consensus was achieved for the final list.

The results were closely guarded until they were revealed this week.


  • Pam Garside, fellow in health management, Judge Business School, Cambridge University
  • Lord Warner, former health minister
  • Laura Roberts, chief executive, NHS Manchester
  • Richard Vize, editor, HSJ
  • Paul Corrigan, management consultant and HSJ columnist
  • Lisa Rodrigues, chief executive, Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust
  • Frank McKenna, director of Healthcare, Harvey Nash
  • Alpesh Patel, partner and head of healthcare practice, Ernst & Young
  • Professor John Appleby, chief economist, health policy, King’s Fund
  • Janice Sigsworth, director of nursing, Imperial College Healthcare Trust
  • Rebecca Evans, deputy editor, HSJ
  • Rohan Malik, account director Ernst & Young
  • Kieran Walshe, professor of health policy and management, Manchester Business School
  • Stephen Ramsden, chief executive, Luton and Dunstable Hospital Foundation Trust and chair of the Patient Safety First Campaign