“I am happy to look into Catrina’s experience,” said Nicola Sturgeon as if she were agreeing to check out some holiday snaps or review a CV.

It’s a formula she uses a lot at FMQs these days as she’s quizzed about the NHS.

Calm, obliging, mechanical.

It avoids engaging with the horror. Very handy.

Labour’s Anas Sarwar had been asking about ambulance waits and wanted to know - such nerve - why they were getting worse. 

Ms Sturgeon explained she was in Government, at the pointy end of life, not dossing about on the sofa of opposition watching Countdown.

“Government, at the best of times - and these are not the best of times - is hard,” she told the poor simpleton. 

“It is more complicated than simple soundbites or setting targets; we have to do the work in order to achieve them.”

She then blamed Mr Sarwar for not blaming the Tories like she did.

“There is always somebody else to blame,” he replied, “it is always somebody else’s fault. 

“It is the same old soundbites and the same old script from this tired First Minister.”

Ms Sturgeon's answer was that Labour in Scotland was “thirled to defending the Tories”.

She then went on to offer independence as the best hope on all fronts. But not in a soundbite way, obviously.

She didn’t mention Catrina again. Who is she? Let’s skip back and let Mr Sarwar explain.

“81-year-old Catrina McFarlane has bone cancer, a disease that can cause significant pain and increases the risk of fractures,” he told MSPs. 

“Last month, she had a fall at home and she and her husband heard a snapping sound. 

“She was in extreme pain. Due to her condition, she was told that she would need to be transported to hospital in an ambulance. That was at 10:15 in the morning. At 11 o’clock that night - 13 hours later - Catrina was still waiting in pain. 

“The emergency operator, who was in tears, said that they could not even guarantee an ambulance by the next morning.

“The following day, Catrina’s husband gave up waiting for an ambulance and, in desperation, took her to hospital himself. She was diagnosed with a fractured pelvis. 

“Why did Catrina McFarlane have to wait in pain for nearly 24 hours for an ambulance that never turned up?”

And so Ms Sturgeon began her ritual.

“I am happy to look into Catrina’s experience,” she said, averting her soul. 

“Nobody should wait that length of time for an ambulance, and I will not say otherwise.” 

It is a sign of how regular these stories have become that the chamber did not wince, nor rise up when it was passed over with such icy efficiency. 

Dear reader, I hope the First Minister isn’t happy to look into your experience next.