There were mixed reactions in Harold yesterday as its nearest A&E unit at Dunstable Royal Infirmary announced that they have banned junk food. All the vending machines have been emptied and unplugged and the coffee shop has been replaced with a concession of Harold café Veggie! Veggie! Veggie!
“We are delighted to be looking after the needs of poor, dear Haroldites who’ve had a mishap,” trilled owner Pippa Delaney. “Now instead of thoughtlessly gorging themselves on sweet tea and crisps as they wait for treatment they can enjoy pickled mustard greens, soy puffs and lovely avocado sushi all washed down with a range of sugar-free fruit cordials.”
“But if someone is stressed and really needs to splurge what better than a slice of our cheeseless wholemeal pizza topped with walnuts? If that’s not satisfying junk food I don’t know what is.”
Though these changes may be good for public health they have left most people feeling disappointed.
“I’m gutted,” said Ærndis Vigfussion, Harold resident and A&E staff nurse. “We thought we were getting a Gregg’s. At four am on a stressful shift I want a Mars bar and an espresso not water and a handful of tofu.”
“No one wants all that healthy mumbo-jumbo in casualty,” said Tom Stalling, villager and recent A&E attendee, “When I was there last week with my grandson after the daft little bugger broke his arm falling off a garden trampoline once he was patched up I went to one of the machines and got him a bar of chocolate to help him feel better. If I’d handed him a carrot stick he’d have cried the bloody place down.”
On being asked if the hospital plans to extend its ban on junk food and vending machines to the wards a stakeholder in Dunstable Royal Infirmary who wished to remain anonymous said that it did not. “The junk food ban is just some nonsense to please the Care Quality Commission. Between you and me we need vending machines stuffed full of crap on the wards. Did you know that in the last four years over a thousand people have starved to death in NHS hospitals? If we banned junk food for inpatients imagine how much higher that figure would be.”
When it was suggested that there would be less need for people to be in hospital if they weren’t constantly surrounded by the kind of food that increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers our source just laughed. “But we want people in hospital. When the NHS is finally fully dismantled by this government those of us who went to the right schools with the right people are going to be quids in.”
“I love sick people,” he said. “They’re going to pay for my new house.”