Mike Farrar, chief executive, NHS North West

Mike Farrar continues to slide down HSJ’s top 50 list (he was 10th in 2006) but is still making an impact.

Having set out the North West’s stall with 10 “touchstone tests” in the strategic health authority’s 10-year Darzi vision, he then took the brave step of promising to reveal progress on its website. Chair of the SHA Chief Executives’ Group, Mr Farrar is overseeing innovative work in the region on payment by results, mental health and quality.

His previous posts include chief executive of West Yorkshire SHA and South Yorkshire SHA and a stint at the Department of Health as head of primary care, during which time he established primary care trusts.