Passports pic

Passport to success

An old joke: a chap is asked why he’s only wearing a single glove on a nice sunny day. His answer was that he’d heard the weather report saying that it was going to be a day of mixed temperatures – on the one hand it promised to be quite a warm day – but on the other hand, it may suddenly turn cold.

They don’t tell ‘em like that any more.

The news has been a bit glove-on-glove-off this week. On the one hand, in the NHS, we’ve got junior doctors striking for five days, and rejecting the Government’s latest pay offer. Many NHS workers are frazzled, disillusioned and are leaving the service at an alarming rate.

On the other hand, the NHS is proving to be a very popular choice for young people according to recent research undertaken by NHS Professionals which runs the largest NHS flexible staff bank.

1,000 18 and 24 year-olds were polled. They were made aware that the NHS offers a variety of flexible roles that don’t necessarily require medical training, including as a receptionist and administrator, catering, porter or healthcare support worker.
A very healthy two-thirds of them said that now they knew about the flexible opportunities to work in the NHS, they’d be very likely to try it.

Being involved in the research gave us the opportunity to meet some truly inspirational young people who had already found that working flexible shifts in the NHS had really paid off. If the bright, motivated people we met are anything to go by, it’s got to be exceedingly heartening news for an increasingly beleaguered NHS workforce.

Another chink of light in the gloom comes, unexpectedly, from His Majesty’s Passport Office. Tucked away in the Times’ gloom-laden columns comes news that the HMPO has only gone and turned itself around and mended, yes mended, a broken system. 

It means that you can now expect to get your new passport in around five days. This compares to post-Covid chaos in which you were lucky to get a replacement within ten weeks.
The extraordinary turnaround is down to efficient digitisation – the details of which the NHS and the DVLA would be well served to study closely.

Getting a passport, then, is the silver lining. The cloud, on the other hand, is that like good news, you may not be travelling very far or very fast. It seems increasingly likely that a combination of French air traffic controllers, Gatwick baggage handlers and Hades-like temperatures across Europe will conspire to stuff your getaway. 

To end on a positive note, Insight recommends a good read for us all, namely the children’s book, Pollyanna. The eponymous heroine tries to find something positive in every situation, a trick she calls “the Glad Game”. The game consists of finding something to be glad about in every situation, no matter how bleak it may be. 

Her philosophy may put us all in good stead for the foreseeable.Follow Salix & Co on Twitter @salix_says and more daily health and social care news and comment at Salix Bureau