Photocopying My Left Kidney

Well, this business of pretending to be an FY1 is all a bit exhausting.

I’m into the six weeks of hospital-based Preparation for Practice, in the hospital that I’ll be starting work in at the end of July. The nice people from HR (or, as we are now apparently calling it, Workforce Planning) somehow seized on the fact that sixteen of the newbies were going to be in the building for much of April and May, and they scheduled a two hour Let’s Get The Paperwork Done Early meeting. I confess, I did scoff a little bit at the idea that this would take two hours.

There is an episode of The West Wing during which two of the President’s staff are arrested in a bar fight. In the subsequent scene in which Toby Ziegler is posting bail while having a phone conversation about, among other things, a Congressional campaign in California and a war in Kundu, this happens:

Bail Officer: Sign here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here. Initial it here, here, here, here. And sign again here.
Toby: Excuse me, I think they’re making me buy somebody’s house.

That’s more or less how the HR meeting went. The two hour meeting slot that I’d scoffed at? It lasted for two and a half hours.

The first hurdle was an employment form, in triplicate. We had been instructed to fill in the address field as though it were July. Did that mean that the other fields ought also to be filled in as though it were July? I can only judge from the response we got that we were the first cohort of FY1s ever to ask this question. They were particularly nonplussed at the idea that any of us might be willing to fill in the title field as though it were July, and it had to be explained to them that we had already sat finals.

A P46. I am also apparently the first FY1 ever to say that I cannot in good conscience tick the box that says I haven’t worked between the end of the last financial year and the start of this job, as I cannot guarantee that I won’t have had a job between now and then. I have ten weeks off, nothing to do and little patience for boredom, a rapidly dwindling student loan and no salary from the NHS until the end of August, and secretarial skills and an obliging temp agency. You are the first person ever to ask that question, she declared.

A Disclosure Scotland form, which will make my fourth Disclosure Scotland form since I’ve lived here. I have a few from the Criminal Records Bureau, which is the English equivalent, knocking around somewhere as well. Bizarrely, the only question they don’t ask is whether I’ve got any criminal convictions.

Those things were followed by an ID badge application (and I learned that I’m not required to have my birth certificate name on my ID badge, which was an accomplishment), an IT access application and an IT terms and conditions declaration,  a four page form from occupational health which asked questions that were so specific I may have inadvertently lied on them, a sample signature so that they can keep an eye on my prescriptions (on a day when I signed so many forms that my signature will probably never look like that ever again), and a parking permit application. And then I turned over my passport, my birth certificate, my tenancy agreement, my bank account details, my left kidney, and my National Insurance number, and was trotted off to have my photograph taken.

The only thing I haven’t been asked to prove is that I’ve got a medical degree.



  1. HAHAHAH!~
    It really does seem like you’re buying someone’s house… and you keep wondering, “I’m SURE I’m in that system somewhere already… are you sure you need all of this…?”

    • It was easier to register with the General Medical Council. No joke.

      The best (read: most ridiculous) part is that because I’m changing Trust, I get to do this all over again next year.

  2. When I was in Medical Staffing we basically wrote off Rotation Days because whilst you had to do it all once through, we have to be there through everyone filling in their forms, ticking them off lists, answering questions (whether or not said questions fall within the remit of our job descriptions), running back and forth from the photocopier with people’s personal documents etc. So I’m really not surprised they took advantage of the opportunity to get a few of you through the system early!!

    • Nor am I, now that I know just how much stuff there is to go through on those days. I hadn’t expected an actual avalanche of paper.

      I’d forgotten that this used to be your job!

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