Patients have complained that their appointments on bank holiday Monday have been rescheduled as the NHS commemorates the Queen’s funeral.
Hospitals and GP surgeries have made changes to their services for Monday, September 19, with administrators being urged to contact all patients to confirm whether or not their appointments have been rescheduled.
Local hospital trusts will make the decision whether to provide appointments on the historic day of mourning.
Urgent and emergency procedures will reportedly continue as usual across the country, while some trusts have stated that non-urgent appointments will be postponed.
Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, for example, said it would contact all “relevant patients” to confirm, but that both of its hospitals (Bedford and Luton and Dunstable) would remain open for emergency care.
Meanwhile, NHS officials in North East Essex and Suffolk announced that GP practises would be closed on September 19 to commemorate the funeral, with scheduled appointments rescheduled for a later date.
Anyone expecting a repeat prescription has been advised to “check that you have enough to last.”
Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Bolton NHS Foundation Trust also announced that appointments would be changed due to the bank holiday.
Some patients have expressed dissatisfaction with the last-minute changes to their appointments. Jo from Norwich expressed her “extreme frustration” after an appointment she had “looked forward to for a few months” was cancelled.
“I understand that the death of a monarch is significant for the UK; I’m not a monarchist, but I wouldn’t want to stand in the way of anyone who wishes to mourn or pay their respects.”
“I don’t think the same courtesy is being extended to people who, for whatever reason, don’t want to participate in this proposed period of mourning – or those who do but can’t afford the financial/health/etc implications that seem to be arising as a result of all these cancellations of events and services like foodbanks.”