Not that many people in the NHS have gained national recognition this year for positive reasons.

But Christopher Juliff, NHS chief executive David Nicholson’s PA, has made the final shortlist in the Hays and The Times PA of the Year competition.

Despite entrant numbers being 60 per cent higher than last year, Christopher has remained in contention for the award and now goes into the final round of judging against five other PAs as the only man left in the running.

Mr Juliff, or to give him his full title, Diary, Visits and Events Manager to the NHS Chief Executive, is also the sole public sector representative with a chance of winning.

He says: “I am genuinely thrilled to have been named as one of the UK’s top PAs.

“People often don’t realise the increasingly complex and demanding roles that PAs play in an organisation, especially when working with a particularly senior leader, so it’s pleasing to have my dedication and input recognised.”

The Hays and The Times PA of the Year Award 2011 winner will be announced at a central London awards ceremony on 19 May 2011.

Mr Juliff might want to put that particular event in a few diaries: should he win, it would give the NHS some welcome cheer.