Thanks for all the replies, much appreciated.
As it happens the bank I am thinking of switching to is First Direct (on my dad’s reccomendation.) The speil suggests that they will handle of much of the changeover as possible (ringing my place of work, student loan company???)
The reason Barclays has been poo for me is that I used to be a student, therefore had a student account. When I stopped being a student I went into a branch to arrange to have the student status removed. They said no problem, and then proceeded to completely fuck up the account.
Not only did they not remove the student status, but they removed the overdraft limit (to 0) so my 2000+ overdrawn was suddenly demanded. They also did something which rendered the account stuck half way between student and non-student status, so that I would have to go into my account-holding branch (across the irish sea) to fix it (assuming they wouldn’t refer me to somewhere else or a telephone number). This meant my intrest rate was sub-atomic, and I couldn’t have a proper debit card.
They also persistently ask me to prove that I exist, by getting every piece of paper I own signed by the king of the universe.