NHS staff are to start miming what they want to do to foreign patients in a bid to save money.
As a report showed the health service spent 0.02% of its budget on translation services, roughly half of what it spends on cleaning fluid for the plastic plants in reception, doctors will now point at diagrams in textbooks before pointing at the patient and nodding enthusiastically.
Staff nurse Nikki Hollis said: “It’s going to save an awful lot of money when all the foreigners die of allergic reactions to medicine and not knowing what the gesture for a burst appendix is.
“Medical care for overseas patients is going to turn into a potentially fatal game of Give Us A Clue.”
As well as pointing at parts of the body and grimacing, hospital staff will also be asked to talk at foreign patients slowly in English in a progressively loud and more aggressive manner. Staff will also enhance their pronunciation by adding the letter ‘o’ to every other word and pronouncing ‘r’ as ‘l’.
Any patient unable to explain what their illness is will be issued a photograph of health secretary Andrew Lansley pointing at an airport departure lounge with an angry but disappointed expression on his face.
If successful, the measures will be widened to English-speaking patients who have a bit of an accent and by 2020 medical care will only be available to anybody who sounds like Brian Sewell.