In the latest cost-cutting initiative to be rolled out by the NHS, men can now go to their local tattoo parlour for removal of minor body parts that are beyond medical intervention.
"We feel there are some things a man would be more comfortable discussing with his tattooist", said NHS executive Laura Edmunds, "thus streamlining the health service in the process. For instance, if he's got a gangrenous finger ready to drop off that he knows he should have taken to A and E two weeks ago - that's the sort of stupid thing that can be embarrassing to discuss with a health professional".
Meanwhile, tattoo parlour operators have mixed reactions to this development. "Amputations? Piece of cake", says Andy Rhodes, who has run a tattoo joint on Liverpool's Avery Meadows council estate for the last 20 years, "and I wouldn't need any of that poncy anaesthetic either". However, Glaswegian tattooist Ken McGregor gave the thumbs down to the idea: "What, all that BUPA paperwork? No way".