… The New NHS (National Hairdressing Service)

After seeing “unprecedented” and “once in a generation” queues round the block outside barbers’ shops across Britain today, I have accepted the call from the nation to lead in the development of a new NHS: the National Hairdressing Service.

Unfortunately, to save on time, originality and effort on my part I am using exactly the same model as we used setting up our Covid-19 vaccination clinics.

Now seemingly unlike an NHS service the general public seem to think nothing of queuing for an hour then shelling out twelve quid a month for an appointment with their barber so this gives me a head start.

I consulted with the experts as to whether waiting for herd immunity was an option in hairdressing. My theory being that if we wait long enough then everyone’s hair will grow long and everyone will look rubbish and none of us will need the barbers. Unfortunately since we now look like a nation of 70’s footballers this is no longer considered an acceptable loss.

But… wait a minute… herd immunity!


Genius. I made a couple of calls to the New Zealand sheep shearers’ union to see if an army of locum sheep shearers could be mobilised. Unfortunately New Zealand is an affluent island nation with excellent leadership and subsequently everyone there has been immaculately coiffured since day one of the pandemic, so there was no appetite to come across and bail us out. Regrettably the evidence is there to suggest they’re doing better than us.

Let me use as exhibit A the immaculate New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Back to the drawing board – but not quite. The 70’s footballers idea set me thinking. Perhaps older and more vulnerable hairstyles could have their haircuts at local barbers in the community, whereas we could set up regional hairdressing supercentres in football stadia, places of worship and leisure centres. Again, I made a few calls and for some reason they said they were all busy with some kind of vaccination programme.

It was becoming evident that some kind of prioritisation service needs set up. Like the old NHS, the new and improved National Hairdressing Service hates to use the word “rationing”. So I’ve instead done some risk stratification and resource allocation workshops and decided that locally barbers should be starting with the most at risk groups. So haircuts will be reserved for over 85s and front-line healthcare workers.

With a bit of luck and goodwill we should have worked through the backlog and people should be able to book their second haircuts in ten to twelve weeks. Specific haircut passports won’t be required: if your hair is much different to your actual passport photo then you won’t be allowed to travel.

If the system works then certain aspects of the new service might be kept. Like with GPs there’s a need for continuity of care. How much easier is it to have your own barber who you know and who knows you so you don’t have to start describing your hair-based symptoms from scratch every time.

And it cuts both ways. How much easier would it be as a GP if I could simply greet people with a cheery “Good morning, Sir. The usual?”

2 thoughts on “… The New NHS (National Hairdressing Service)

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