Now that Call 111 has gone live, Dr No has sent a team of his crack undercover reporters into 111 call centres to discover how the new service is working.
The following is a transcript of a secret recording made at a call centre located somewhere in the South of England.
A 111 call centre, with two operatives with headsets on at desks with computer screens. Op-A is taking a call from a patient; Op-B is taking a break; his screen has flashing betting odds on it. We overhear the conversations…
Op-B: I didn’t quite catch that. Did you say the 1:11 at Aintree?
Op-A: That’s right caller, 111 Braintree here, what’s troubling you today?
Op-B: Number 2, Hot To Trot, followed by Rimfire.
Op-A: I am sorry to hear that. When did it start?
Op-B: 12:45 at Ascot.
Op-A: I see. How are your bowels normally?
Op-B: Going’s usually firm to hard, but been a bit soft lately.
Op-A: How very worrying for you. Any blood in the motion?
Op-B: Yes, 3:40 at Newmarket, Flash In The Pan.
Op-A: How very worrying for you. Have you been sick?
Op-B: In The Gold Cup at Cheltenam.
Op-A: Oh dear. I am sorry. Have you taken any medication?
Op-B: Yes, Red Rum.
Op-A: Good Grief! When do you last take some?
Op-B: 2:15 at Sandown.
Op-A: And before that?
Op-B: 1:40 at Epsom.
Op-A: You don’t suppose you might be a bit tight?
Op-B: Could be. Odds-on, I’d say.
Op-A: Hmmm. Have you spoken to your GP?
Op-B: I have, but the shop’s closed and all bets are off.
Op-A: Oh dear. That’s so common these days. I suppose you’d better go to A&E.
Op-B: I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that. Did you say Aintree?
Op-A: That’s right, A&E.
Op-B: Righty-ho, Aintree it is! Cheerio!
With the greatest of respect and all dues to The Two Ronnies.