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4. Dame Barbara Hakin

Chief operating officer, NHS England

Now second in command at NHS England, the former GP’s influence will be even more significant in the coming year.

Having overseen the CCG-forming process and the authorisation of successive waves of CCGs in her previous role as national director for commissioning development, she is now - in NHS England´s own opaque parlance - ‘responsible for overseeing development of the operations architecture’.

This means a key role in the way primary care is run in the future, deciding who commissions it, the role of local area teams and where CCGs stand in all this.

Described as chief executive Sir David Nicholson’s right-hand woman and a forthright and skilled operator, Dame Barbara - a former GP in Bradford, for 20 years - is an experienced pair of hands and poised to supervise the next major transition in English general practice.

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