Being a web-savvy lot, End Game readers will have heard of Second Life, the online role-playing game that was big in the giddy, wasteful days before the recession.

For those who were doing other things, we will explain. The game allowed players to design an outlandish character (or “avatar”) and stroll around a fantastical virtual world complete with alien landscapes and thousands of fellow players.

Licensed to do entirely as they pleased, participants built palaces, fought battles, flew through the air and hosted orgies.

What did this world of inhibitionless, consequence-free, anonymous, online wish-fulfillment have to do with the NHS?

NHS London decided to carry out part of its public engagement for 2007’s Healthcare for London there, it has emerged.

Before you scoff, you have to remember it was a different time back then. There was more money around, people thought things like Second Life would replace face-to-face interactions and Facebook was not the immense omniscience it now is.

The nugget is revealed in the recently published Healthcare for London: Reflections on leadership, lessons and legacy and it is fair to say that even in those bygone days there were sceptics.

One took to the forum to say “Well, it’ll make a change from running virtual consultations in a real world”.