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07. Professor Sir Bruce Keogh (new entry)

Sir Bruce has been medical director of the NHS since 2007, a huge portfolio that includes the work programmes of NICE, Health Education England, the National Quality Board and the functions of the now defunct National Patient Safety Agency.

Responsible for clinical quality and strategy, he led the team that developed the QOF, chaired a review into the numbers of medical school places, and this year added another feather to his downy hat as the medical director of the NHS Commissioning Board.

This year, he spearheaded the Department of Health's IT revolution, launching the revamped NHS Choices, where details of GPs' clinical outcomes were made public, and also introduced plans for doctors to offer patients online consultations.

He also upset the GPC – surely every DH civil servant's badge of honour – when he called on NICE to look into bundling many of the current diabetes QOF indicators into one ‘composite' indicator, meaning GPs will have to carry out nine processes in order to get the points.