Following the controversial closure of more than 53 walk-in centres in England, the NHS is to replace them with cheaper crawl-in centres to take mounting pressure off GPs and A&E units.
Under the new plans, previously struck off GPs will work together with claims companies and undertakers to deal with the expected rise in the demand for care this winter. The centres will specifically cater for low-income working families, workless people, the elderly and high-risk socially excluded groups such as homeless people, refugees and drug addicts.
The health minister, Lord Howe said, “The centres will help to segregate ‘scum’ from ‘hard-working people,’ in line with government policy, making GP practices and A&E units more wholesome places for the deserving-sick to attend.
Crawl-in centres are also a marvellous solution for anyone on their last legs who is unable to register with a GP or get to an out of town A&E unit. We can’t promise treatment but they’ll probably get a damp mattress, a mug of hot-water and an old fashioned-mugging from the drug addict lying next to them.”
As part of the scheme inner-city bus lanes will double up as crawler-lanes for the sick, particularly during rush-hour periods. Similarly, newly arrived refugees and health-tourists will be forced to crawl along the hard shoulders of motorways into Unwelcome Breaks, specially equipped International Health Service stations. Here National Health Express buses will return their freshly anaesthetised cargoes back to Calais.
However there has been some criticism of the plans. A spokesman from the health regulator Monitor said, “If we’d just left GP’s like Harold Shipman to their own devices then walk-in-crawl-in or whatever, we’d all still be quids-in.”