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Editor's blog Thursday 18 November: Thoughts on the HSJ Top 100

Healthcare inflation, eh? The HSJ Top People List has grown by 100%. in just a year. That's faster than a journalist's expenses claims ... or an A&E attendance growth.

In truth, it is scant surprise. With this much change around, a limit of 50 was always going to be too much to ask.

So, a few thoughts about the 2010 vintage.

1. Never take lists too seriously
Lists of this kind should essentially be seen as fun. They can also be useful framing devices: a panoramic snapshot of a moment. It looks backwards and forwards: the past has dragged the chosen to where they are seen today; and the future requires the gift of prophecy.

You want to try to get them as right as possible - but bear in mind that it's essentially a gossip-point and a laugh.

2. A lot of it is right ...
The increase in medics is spot-on, as is putting BMA jefe Hamish Meldrum at number 3, after The Liberator (very good profile by HSJ editor Alastair McLellan) and the interesting choice of Oliver Letwin, Cameron's policy panjandrum (likewise, well-summmarised by Nick Seddon of Reform).

The presence of Stephen Dorrell at Number 5 acknowledges not only his understanding of the terrain as a former health secretary, but his highly effective chairing of the Commons' health select committee. Dorrell has chosen his battles well.

It is unsurprising that SHA chief executives just scrape the top 20, with Neil McKay at 18, for his transitional HR work. Mike Farrar appears next, "down 15 places to 26!"

Equally, few jaws will drop to see Sir Robert 'The Builder' Naylor in as top provider chief executive, at a relatively modest 31.

3. But not all, by any means
Simon Burns? Please!

There are some bad under-placongs: DH director of workforce Clare Chapman at 67 looks a bit odd. Placing Andy McKeon at 70, for a survey going forwards, looks equally strange given the Audit Commissioni's futurre - or lack of it.

What looks to me like the biggest over-placing, if the list is going forwards, is Steve Field at 21. His support for the White Paper reforms has played better with politicians and the Dh establishment than many of his colleagues. Paul Pindar of Capita at 75 also looks a bit optimistic.

Ben Page of Ipsos Mori is also probably far too low on the list, which mixes in hacks (Thomas, Timmins, Dacre, McLellan - just needs Cuthbert, Dibble and Grubb to join them and Trumpton has a new fire brigade for all your media flare-ups) and opinion-formers such as former special adviser and Health Matters blog helmsman Paul Corrigan.