In the latest austerity measure, NHS ambulances are being replaced with white Transit vans, identified by a copy of the Sun newspaper in the front window.
The first patient to experience the new service was Gloria Mundi,who is sick.
"It was pretty awful" said Ms Mundi (37), "particularly the half hour stop a the builders' merchant to pick up some lengths of 4x2. And milky tea with 5 sugars was no real substitute for the saline drip I so badly needed."
An NHS spokesperson responded "this is the way of the world I'm afraid."
I doubt I'm the first person to write a joke starring Gloria Mundi but, here's hoping.