GPs to close across Nottinghamshire and hospitals to reschedule some appointments on Queen’s funeral bank holiday

Nottingham walk-in centre (credit ICB)
By Anna Whittaker, Local Democracy Reporter

Some hospital appointments will be rescheduled and most GP surgeries will close across Nottinghamshire during Monday’s bank holiday.

September 19 – the date of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral – has been declared a national bank holiday.

Public services have since been setting out their plans, with councils altering bin collection dates and changing other services as a mark of respect.

Now, the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) – the body responsible for planning local healthcare – has released details of how the local NHS will operate on the day.

The organisation says appointments booked with GPs will be rearranged with patients directly.

But as on usual bank holidays, there will be out-of-hour GPs on call who can be reached via 111.

A number of community pharmacies will also be open to provide over-the-counter care.

Dr Ursula Montgomery, Director of Primary Care, NHS England, has said that ICBs would need to “urgently work to ensure sufficient out-of-hours services capacity is in place”.

In hospitals across the county, all emergency care, urgent elective and cancer care will continue as usual – but some outpatient and routine appointments will be rescheduled.

Sherwood Forest Hospitals said it was “inevitable” there would be some disruption to some non-urgent planned care.

Nottingham University Hospitals Trust encouraged the public to top-up medicine cabinets and order prescriptions in advance. Patients will be contacted directly if they are impacted.

The ICB added that the local Covid-19 vaccination programme will “seek to honour pre-booked appointments” on September 19, but some sites may be closed if there are low numbers of booked appointments.

Councillor Georgia Power (Lab) chairs the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee at Nottingham City Council.

She said: “What I would want to see is the Government putting additional resources in place to catch up with electives being cancelled or appointments.

“That’s a priority. I am sure GP practices will be working as hard as they can to contact the patients affected. The workload is already so high on them.”

When asked what her thoughts were on the move to close GPs, she added: “It’s happening, it’s somewhat out of their control and equally they deserve the time off to reflect as much as anyone else does.”

Nottingham GP Dr Irfan Malik said he believed the King’s wishes for a Bank Holiday to respect the Queen should be allowed for NHS staff in routine services.

Speaking in a personal capacity earlier this week, Dr Malik, a senior partner at Elmswood Surgery in Sherwood, said: “I think that as King Charles has officially granted a bank holiday, we should respect his wishes and mourn and respect the Queen on that day.

“For routine NHS work, patients will have to be cancelled on that day and there will be upset and disturbance.

“But I think they will understand in this case and may wish to be at home on that day too.

“GPs can make up those lost appointments fairly quickly and slot people in elsewhere fairly soon.”

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