“I thought I had an appointment to see a surgical consultant at the hospital, but instead I found myself faced by some kind of voodoo priest, slaughtering pigeons and dripping their blood all over me,” claims fifty three year old Hermione Glipp, who, earlier this year attended her local hospital in Bracknell with an ingrowing toe nail. “I mean, it all seemed quite normal at first – this nurse took me to the consulting room and told me to undress, put on a surgical gown, then lie on the bed until the consultant arrived – next thing I knew, this huge black man burst in and started shouting all these weird incantations! It was like something out of a horror film! Next thing I knew, he had all these other guys in the room beating drums and topless women swaying to their voodoo rhythms!” Investigations by The Sleaze have revealed that Miss Glipp’s bizarre experience was part of a secret government plan to counter the recent wave of strikes by junior doctors. “The hospital she attended was being used by the Department of Health as a pilot scheme during the last strike,” explains former junior doctor Jim Knacks. “The idea was to see if they could break the strike by employing blacklegs in the form of ‘alternative’ medical practitioners. Apparently it was a personal initiative on the part of Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is into all that sort of bollocks!”

Glipp got off lightly, if the reported experiences of other patients who attended the hospital for treatment during the strike are to be believed. “I went in expecting a chemotherapy session,” cancer patent Ron Wickston says. “Instead, I found myself confronted by this bloke saying he was an aromatherapist. He reckoned he could treat my cancer by getting me to inhale various ‘healing aromas’. I must admit that I was a bit taken aback, but as I was there, I thought I might as well give it a go. If nothing else, I thought, at least I might smell some pleasant ans relaxing aromas, like the scent of flowers, or new mown hay.” However, Wickston was disturbed to find himself being exposed to some of the vilest aromas he had ever smelt. “He got me to close my eyes then started to waft something under my nose – I swear it must have been a lump of shit as it smelt disgusting,” he recalls. “Really, it smelt evil and I began to heave, but managed to stop myself. Next thing, he’s shoving something else under my nose – this time it smelt like a decaying corpse and I couldn’t stop myself from throwing up! The bastard told me that was a positive result, as he was using these aromas to try and physically drive the disease from my body. He was clearly insane!”

Another cancer patient, expecting to see their oncologist, found themselves confronted by a self-styled ‘white witch’, who proceeded to ‘treat’ them by sticking pins into a doll, targeting the cancer afflicted areas. A paraplegic patient attending the hospital for a regular check up found themselves facing an evangelical preacher telling them that they would regain the power to walk if they took Jesus into their heart, before groping the patient’s breasts on the pretext of healing her through the ‘laying on of hands’. One success on the part of the ‘alternative’ practitioners was claimed, however, when another voodoo priest, working in casualty, apparently resurrected an accident victim who had been ‘Dead on Arrival’. “It was amazing, I really thought that I’d lost poor Geoffrey after he was hit by that car,” explained the patient’s wife. “I have to admit, I was highly sceptical when, instead of a doctor, he was attended by this chap who looked like Baron Samedi from Live and Let Die. But after he’d performed some kind of bizarre rites over the body, I was amazed to see Geoffrey sit bolt upright! Within a few minutes he was well enough to leave the hospital and come home. It was a miracle.” She added that, whilst happy to have her husband alive and back home, his new found penchant for eating raw meat, staring eyes and slight greenish tinge, were all somewhat disturbing.

According to Dr Knacks, the Department of Health adjudged the trial in Bracknell to be sufficiently successful that it was planning to roll it out nationwide during the next wave of industrial action by junior doctors. “They received surprisingly few complaints and even fewer fatalities,” he told The Sleaze . “So they made it clear to the medical profession that they were busy recruiting homeopaths, aromatherapists, spiritualist healers, witches, voodoo priests and shamans from all over the world to break the next planned junior doctors’ strike. Not surprisingly, the doctors were forced to suspend their campaign of industrial action indefinitely.” The Labour Party has condemned the Ministry of Health’s actions, describing them as hypocritical. “The recruitment of overseas alternative medical practitioners, such as voodoo priests from Haiti and witch doctors from Africa completely contradicts their policy of wanting to kick foreign doctors out of the NHS,” declared Shadow Health Minister Jocasta Bling. “They could at least have the decency to employ British cranks and crackpots.”

The Department of Health has responded by claiming that its use of ‘alternative’ medical practitioners had nothing to do with attempting to break the junior doctors’ strikes. “This is about expanding the range of therapies available on the National Health Service,” a spokesperson for the Department told The Sleaze. “Moreover, at a time when the NHS is under increased financial pressure, we’d hope that existing medical professionals and tax payers alike would welcome the introduction of new types of treatment which aren’t reliant upon the use of expensive pharmaceuticals and medical equipment,” The Department also claimed that the influx of ‘alternative’ practitioners would help address the issue of staffing shortfalls in the NHS. pointing out that it would make the new seven day staffing rotas it is imposing on doctors viable.