Stephen Thornton, chief executive, Health Foundation

Stephen Thornton has adopted a longer-term view of supporting healthcare improvement in his current role, focusing the organisation on patient safety and quality issues and ensuring the foundation’s considerable resources are used for funding projects over several years to lead them towards financial self-sufficiency.

In his previous role as chief executive of the NHS Confederation, Mr Thornton was relentless in increasing the public profile of the confederation and of managers.