Sir Michael Rawlins, chair, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence

It has been both a good year and a bad year for Sir Mike, who has cemented his organisation’s place at the centre of the health service.

Lord Darzi’s review was a bonanza for NICE, which picked up a huge amount of work, including taking over a large chunk of the NHS Institute’s business. Perhaps the biggest coup was the announcement that NICE would host one stop information portal NHS Evidence.

However, the clinical advisory body has also taken repeated slating in the media over decisions not to recommend drugs for cancer patients. It has been at these times that Sir Mike has stepped forward to mount a vociferous defence of his organisation.

His success in rehabilitating the image of NICE has been limited, though, as the phrase most commonly linked to NICE in the public eye is still “bloodstained portals” - the trigger for his impassioned article on earlier this year.

Professor Rawlins’ profile is only likely to increase, however, as NICE’s influence on the NHS expands in coming years.