A ground-breaking privatised NHS hospital has been welcomed by ministers after the new owners insisted that going upmarket and introducing a minimum dress code will keep out the riff-raff.
It is hoped the privatisation will allow hospital administrators to focus their attention on the sort of people that appreciate the finer things in life-threatening circumstances.
Hinchingbrooke in Cambridgeshire has struggled to make a profit in recent years, despite charging £6 a day for parking and a tenner to watch a bit of telly.
“We initially put in a bid for this hospital when Labour were in power”, explained the hospital’s new CEO, Brad Mallock.
“They loved our radical ideas, such as giving priority to people from properties in council tax bands A and B.”
“They’re the most likely to arrive by bus, meaning people from bands C and above could spend more time enjoying our car park experience, or buying lattes from our new coffee bar.”
Mallock and his team are highly experienced in making money, so quickly agreed to a subtle change in policy when the coalition government took over.
“We now realise our most valued customers live in the biggest houses, so we’re seeing them in strict council tax order, start from H and going all the way down to our least valued families, in band D.”
Mallock defended his policy of refusing to serve people who live in houses that are semi-detached, or worse.
“A two-tier system is widely recognised as being more efficient, especially by those in the upper tier. By cutting out the plebs, we’re predicting a 45% saving on treatments for rickets and scabies, freeing up valuable resources for our new gout ward.”
The model is being closely watched by other health authorities, who are just as frustrated at the burgeoning cost of front-line staff.
“By replacing Triage with Payage, we’ve saved the wage bills of four nurses, which means we can afford to hire a new marketing manager”, said Mallock.
“He’s key to our strategy. We need to let sick people in flats know that for a small fee, our in-store estate agents can take their address into account, or help them to move into a property which would make them eligible for treatment.”
Mallock believes that his strategy addresses a major criticism of the NHS.
“The press has complained in the past about ‘Postcode Lotteries’, but by creating luxury wards for the privileged few, we’re operating Hinchingbrooke much more like Raffles.”