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Managing the upheaval of change at the NHS, where he headed 7,000 staff and oversaw the merger of two big London hospitals, has prepared Tim Matthews for the tough challenges ahead at the Highways Agency. He says: 'There are parallels with the Agency's role in managing a major programme of change. I will be asking the same question I asked at Guy's and St Thomas': how do we respond better to our customers?

Except I will be asking engineers rather than doctors and nurses.' He is excited by the role: 'I wanted to move into something new, where I could use the skills I had, and I'm deeply wedded to public service values. Transport is now an issue almost as important in the public's mind as the health agenda has been.'

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