In a new cost saving scheme to be introduced by the NHS in 2013, patients on the verge of death will no longer have to wait for lengthy periods of time to check out.
Doctors and hard pressed nurses will soon be able to give patients the option to perform their own scans at specially adapted self-service check outs, instead of waiting in lengthy queues of up to six months for a member of staff to process them.
Special bar coded wrist bands and coin-operated conveyor belt systems will transport the dying to the packing area. Here teams of undertakers will be on hand to help patients get wrapped before transporting them to the local morgue for just a £5 delivery charge.
A spokesman for the Department of Health explained “The scheme will allow doctors to spend more time on back office issues such as target setting, financial control and the odd round of golf. At the same time patients with just one serious condition will be able to check out on their own in order to reduce waiting times for other people with ten or more afflictions.”
One patient who has been waiting in a queue since last March said, “It’s about time this option was set up. There’s nothing worse than standing behind someone with loads of afflictions on the conveyor who then asks the operator for a second opinion once everything has gone through. Self-scanning puts the ball in your court and you can check out with a minimum of fuss.”
Under the scheme loyalty card points will be automatically transferred to next of kin or patients will have the option to put them towards funeral expenses or their favourite charity.
There has however been some criticism from patients. Doug Young, a terminally ill patient from the Wirral said, “Checking yourself out may be quite convenient but you can’t get fags, cash-back or buy a lottery ticket at the same time. It’s an NHS shambles.“