Nuisance caller: hospital bed for hire?

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The Independent Culture
"Hello, Director of Nursing's office (Westminster and Chelsea Hospital). Can I help?"

"Yes I want to hire a bed for the night."

"What sort of bed?"

"A ward bed."

"In relation to what?"

"I'm an alternative health practitioner, specialising in yoga and stress management, and I want my clients to come in and see what an NHS hospital is like. To make them see the need to prevent themselves from falling into a hospital scenario."

"It's not something you could get an answer to straight away. Why particularly at night?"

"It was just to fit in with whatever bed shortages you have."

"But what would this person be aiming to do?"

"They would see what would happen if they didn't look after themselves. Many people have a rosy-tinted view of the NHS, and don't go into hospitals until they're on the receiving end of treatment."

"But what would they do?"

"They would do nothing. Simulate being a patient. They wouldn't have treatment."

"So you want a patient of yours to take up a hospital bed."

"Yes. How much would it cost?"

"We'd have to look into it. There aren't a lot of spare beds. Is your patient ill?"

"It's more of an ongoing thing. Lots of patients. A way of alerting the public in general."

"I'm not sure this will work. We don't rent out our beds. Our hospital is for sick people. I'll have to talk to the managers but it will be low on their priority list."

"Perhaps you could throw in a trip to the operating theatre, to really scare them."

"We can't have people wandering around the place."

"They wouldn't. The idea is to recreate the experience - so the nurses wouldn't have to go near them. You could have them woken up in the morning by the lady with the hoover and sit them next to old men with hacking coughs. Give them a real taste of the health service."

"If you had listened to what I had been saying you would have realised that I really can't give you an answer about this. I would appreciate it if you could let me terminate this conversation." (Hangs up.)

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