It should be the best week of the year, what with Sir Seymour still away at his annual shoulder rub with the hoi polloi at the Chelsea Flower Show and the whole of the SHA away for a snuffle in the trough at Liverpool.

A time to catch up on reading? A time to clear emails, to do lunch, to walk the talk and press the flesh? Not on your Nellie, not with vice chair Bunty Fotherington at the helm.

What exactly she expects me to be saying in our dawn, midday and dusk briefing sessions I’m not exactly sure, but feedback from the presentation of NVQs to the domestic supervisors was clearly not what she had in mind.

The lack of progress on the redecoration of the entire outpatients department between breakfast and lunch on Tuesday morning seemed to hit her hard, although not quite as hard as Wednesday’s no show of the replacement MRI scanner that she’d suggested on Tuesday night. 

The tour of the midwifery-led birthing unit did not help either. The insightful questions about where the doctors were, why the nurses weren’t wearing hats, why the patients weren’t in their beds and the political correctness gone mad of paternity leave demonstrating a shrewd reading of her audience.

But even that paled compared with her 15 minute soliloquy at the League of Friends AGM that managed to combine remorse at the decline of the doctor’s white coat and how few of them wear a smart tie these days, joy at the advent of swine flu, and total ambivalence to a £1m donation to the cancer unit.

Note to self: never let Bunty out alone.

Second note to self: come back Sir Seymour, all is forgiven.