Never before have reforms of the NHS been so sweeping – and never before have they been so closely associated with just one man.
After being handed the task by David Cameron of detoxifying the Tories’ NHS brand, Mr Lansley spent six years listening and honing his grand plan, and developing a deep understanding of his brief.
The result, when it emerged in his white paper last summer, was dramatic: nothing less than a complete rethink of GPs’ role in the NHS.
For someone who swept so confidently into Richmond House on a mission to engage and empower the professionals, the health secretary could be forgiven for asking where it all went wrong.
His sometimes awkward attempts to articulate his vision have been only partially successful, and the outcome hangs in the balance.
But for better or worse, Mr Lansley is the most influential health secretary in years, and unquestionably the most influential non-GP in general practice today.
He could yet turn it around through sheer force of will. His political future depends on it.
This list appears as part of the top influential non-GPs 2011. To see the rest of the list, and the top 50 GPs, click here.