We notice that Boris is spending a lot of time visiting hospitals these days. That reminded us of our very own Boris, Minister for Ageing Alastair Endacott, visiting the Frank Packer Memorial Hospital:
Frank had been twiddling his thumbs in the office for more than an hour after lunch before Endacott and Doberman arrived. At least it meant his walkabout with the Minister was relatively brief.
‘Glad to see you’ve got your VS up, Frank,’ said Doberman. ‘Have you seen this, Minister? We think it sums us up pretty well.’
Endacott peered at the framed Vision Statement.
‘A winning team culture?’ he said. ‘Sounds like a fucking football team. Oops, sorry, mademoiselle,’ as he saw Fran.
Doberman’s lips tightened.
‘I thought the Minister might like to see Ward 6, Frank,’ he said. ‘That’s our rehabilitation area, Minister. I think you’ll find it inspiring.’
‘Lead on,’ said Endacott, favouring Fran with an ironic smile that made her flush again.
‘Nice little filly you’ve got there,’ he said to Frank as they went along the corridor. ‘I like the plump dark ones.’
Verna Oostermeyer, Manager of Strategic Caring Services, was there as they went into Ward 6. The floor shone and every bedside table held a vase of red geraniums from the hospital gardens. The patients had been kept back from their therapies so they could be shown to the Minister. He walked through, nodding from side to side, his hands behind his back like Prince Phillip.
‘Can I introduce you to Gwen Curley?’ said Verna. ‘Gwen’s an example to us all.’
Gwen smiled up from her wheelchair, her grey-blue curls freshly brushed and her blue eyes as round and friendly as the country girl she had been sixty years ago.
‘Bad luck,’ said the Minister. ‘Hope you’ll soon be up and about.’
Gwen smiled. There was a silence.
‘Well,’ said Endacott, ‘better be getting on, I suppose. Nice to meet you all, ladies and gentlemen, chin up.’
Thankfully Frank deposited the Minister in Susan Rose’s office where he could smell freshly-brewed coffee and see a plate of sumptuous cakes on the table.
‘Goodoh,’ said Endacott, his eyes brightening.
The Art Of The Possible