A failure to recruit more part-time soldiers has led the government to look to other spheres of activity in which on-the-cheap volunteers with a keen survival instinct could help save taxpayers’ money.
“Bizarrely, it turns out volunteers aren’t that keen on dying in aid of next season’s Middle Eastern despot,” said Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, “but there’s a remarkable overlap in the skill sets of pretend soldiers and pretend surgeons which the nation could exploit to good effect; a fondness for uniforms, heavy drinking, casual sex and seeing the insides of another human being spread out and covered in blood.”
“And the bonus with major surgery is the enemy doesn’t fight back; unless it’s a compulsory castration, which seldom goes down well. And so long as a fully qualified anaesthetist has done their bit first of course.”
Mid Staffordshire Hospital will be the first to pilot the new ‘Territorial Surgeon’ role for which attendance at a residential weekend training event will probably be required. “To be honest, at Mid Staffs they aren’t going to be judged against a ‘Premier League’ record of performance,” said Hunt, “so we thought it’d be a good place to start.”
Meanwhile, the real soldiers being made redundant following the last spending review are being encouraged to become teachers.
“A teacher’s job application form is being enclosed with the redundancy notices which the lads will find if/when they get back from Afghanistan,” said Michael Gove, Education Secretary and three time winner of ‘The Politician I’d Most like to Slap’. “I was at school once, just before I became a student and then a journalist so, although I’ve never had a proper job, I know loads about this reading and writing and stuff. Believe me, the best people to run schools are those with no previous experience of it. It worked for me.”
Newly qualified doctors unable to find a post and signing on for benefits will be expected to volunteer with St John Ambulance.