The last patient

‘Sir we’ve found him!’

Sir Winston Johnston Roxville’s hearing, at the age of 72, was as good as it was at 27, yet the only thing he could think to say at that exact moment was, ‘Pardon?’

‘The last patient, we’ve found him!’ exclaimed Jenkins, the parliamentary undersecretary for the NHS.

Sir Roxville stood from his chair and walked to the sideboard where a whiskey decanter stood invitingly. He poured a double for himself, then a double for Jenkins, then gave the decanter a contemplative look before downing his glass in one and pouring another double for himself.

A small LED on the sideboard started blinking red and Sean Connery’s voice piped up from a hidden speaker, ‘Sir Roxville, you are entering binge drinking territory, please be aware your BUPA premiums are at risk of rising.’

Without warning Sir Roxville turned on the hidden machine. He picked up a metal paperwork of a ship’s anchor from his desk and attacked the wood panelled cover concealing it. ‘Put down your weapon, you have twenty seconds to comply’ the machine barked at him as Robocop, yet still Sir Roxville smashed the casing and the underlying machine. Various other historical celebrities told him off as he continued his assault until finally all that could be heard was the long retired Prime Minister David Cameron warning him, ‘as long as you obey the law we’ll leave you alone’ accompanied by the sobs of Sir Roxville, the NHS Chief Surgeon, as he slumped to the floor of his office.


2 weeks later Ernold Harris arrived at the entrance to St the Mary-George-Thomas and Peter NHS Foundation Hospital in the shadow of the London Eye at Waterloo. He was driven there is a shining 2015 vintage ambulance, accompanied by one male and one female paramedic, both chosen for their looks as much as their clinical skills. As they approached the hospital Ernold looked out of the window at the cheering crowds who had come to see his arrival. Once there he was wheeled through a set of double doors marked ‘NHS only’ to the side of the public entrance where cardiac patients in hospital gowns chose their food from the well stocked vending area (‘One Big Mic for E£1* (*+health premium tax as per your insurer)!’).

In the lift to the operating suite Ernold passed a television and was amused to see the back of his head as the newscaster told the world about ‘the amazing story of Ernold Harris!’

It seemed all too brief once up there as he changed into his gown and met the operating team. The senior registrar, Miss Blenchamps, gave him a 20 page consent form to sign, ‘Operation: total abdocolectomy; hemi cardiopulmonary osteonephrostomy; deinfibulopartialvesico-lympadenocorticovestibular shunt; appendicectomy. Indication ‘Mr Lehman Frist Weber’s disease – type II’.’

From there he taken to the anaesthetic room, where his last thoughts were of his interview with the veteran broadcasters Ant & Dec.


Sir Roxville paused as the patient was brought into theatre. 4 surgeons, 5 scrub nurses, 3 anaesthetics, 2 perfusionists, an irritable robot, a film crew, 3 operating department assistants and a cleaner heard his speech:

‘Today we are privileged to operate on this extraordinary man. Throughout his 92 years he never smoked; he never drank too much, nor too little, alcohol; he was never stressed.  He worked, not to excess, yet was not slothful. He ran and swam, yet avoided marathons. He paid his taxes and took his immunisations. He drunk milk with a positive mental attitude. His house was free of asbestos, yet not too clean. He walked when possible yet conserved his joints. In winter the gas was on at an appropriate 19 degrees at all times. He has no known venereal diseases and his mental wellbeing never failed. He has never been sunburnt. His condition has no genetic basis and he never broke the law. He has no parking tickets. He had a small amount of semi skimmed milk in his tea twice a day. He attended the dentist every year and took an aspirin and statin daily. His BMI is 22.’

‘He is the last eligible NHS patient. Let’s treat him well.’






Image © COD-Newsroom

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