The NHS has today announced that it has begun to roll out a scheme which will see thousands of non medical practitioners introduced into surgeries across England and Wales in a bid to relieve the pressure on over-stretched GPs, and at the same time raise the morale and sense of well-being of patients. The innovation is set to help save millions, whilst saving quite a lot of money as well from already tight budgets.
Delighted receptionists have been fully empowered to use their considerable expertise in patient relations to spot repeat and unnecessary visits to real doctors from potential hypochondriacs and people needing a bit of attention. ‘Revolving door’ patients suffering from ‘feeling a bit poorly’ will be redirected for a consultation with a ‘placebo doctor’ in a room out the back where someone in a white coat with no qualifications at all but who looks the part will sigh sympathetically, deliver platitudes such as ‘Oh no, not again, you poor, poor thing’ and pack them off with a cheery wave and a one-day course of aspirin.
Critics have labelled the scheme as ‘patronising’ and ‘irresponsible’ but the NHS has fiercely hit back pointing out that placebo doctors will not be identified as such, so patients will be unaware that they’re not seeing a medical professional. And savings for the Health Service were already mounting up after early results showed a huge reduction in repeat visits from people suffering from colds, period pains and tiredness simply because they’d been given an appointment on the same day they asked for one.
But despite the upbeat tone the NHS was forced to concede that it wasn’t entirely going as well as they’d like. “We’ve been delighted that patients come out of the consultations with a spring in their step, a new outlook on life and a sense that they’re ready to face up to the challenges of the day. Then they discover we’ve introduced car park charges, and it sets them off all over again.”