Funeral for the queen has been announced, we are well aware that presently in the UK, there is currently a time of national mourning following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
She assumed the throne on 6 February 1952 after her father, King George VI, passed away, beginning the longest reign in history of 70 years.
A British monarch’s departure and what follows next are customs that are progressively fading from people’s memories as a result of the Queen’s prolonged rule.
Parliament was brought back into session after she passed away earlier today, and airline pilots informed their passengers of the tragedy.
GP surgeries will they be closed?
GPs are permitted to take Monday off for the funeral.
Primary care staff and their teams will wish to pay their respects on this day wherever feasible, and contractually may be supported to do so with the announcement of the bank holiday, according to a statement from NHS England.
While “GP practises will be contractually able to close on this day for their core services as it is a confirmed bank holiday,” said Dr. Ursula Montgomery, Director of Primary Care, NHS England, in a statement, “ICBs will need to urgently work to ensure sufficient out-of-hours (integrated urgent care) services capacity is in place during what would have been core hours to meet patient’s urgent primary medical care needs.”
GP offices “may close” on Monday in observance of the Queen’s state burial, according to NHS England.
The planned Covid booster vaccines at nursing homes, according to the report, should nonetheless take place.
A bank holiday that is unexpected is a “horror” for practises, doctors of medicine cautioned over the weekend.
NHS England outlined its “expectations for ensuring there is ongoing access to NHS primary care services” in a letter it addressed to general practitioners today.
Since this day is a declared bank holiday, GP practices are legally permitted to close for their core services on that day, according to the statement.
In order to satisfy patients’ urgent demands for primary medical care, “ICBs will need to rapidly work to ensure appropriate out-of-hours (Integrated Urgent Care) services capacity is in place during what would have been core hours.”
But it also stated that “scheduled care home visits” should be “kept and supplied as planned” because they “are a high priority for the [Covid fall booster] programme.”
In particular, where there is a large population need, it noted, “We strongly recommend any clinics scheduled on that day to be kept.” Any requirement for providers to flex or shorten hours in order to support providers should be discussed with their local commissioner.
As well as stating that ICBs must guarantee that access to ICB-commissioned extended access services “is available during peak demand,” it also acknowledged that due to the “short notice bank holiday,” it will be challenging for providers to flex additional “step-up” capacity or necessarily anticipate demand.
To “ensure that available capacity is optimised,” it was stated, ICBs will need to collaborate with providers of extended access, urgent care, and GP after hours services.
The letter also instructed practises and PCNs to keep patients “completely informed of the arrangements” and to “guarantee that all patients are advised of any cancellations and rescheduling of appointments.”
After GPs were informed that they may close on the day of the Queen’s funeral, local health chiefs and directors were instructed to make arrangements for patients. NHS England responded to “strongly encourage” the respecting of any scheduled clinics and the planning of after-hours treatment.
King Charles III declared a bank holiday on Monday, September 19, the day of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, during his accession council on Saturday, September 10. Prior to being interred at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, the Queen will receive a state funeral at Westminster Abbey.
While GP offices can close on holidays, NHS England has issued a warning that patients still require “adequate” after-hours treatment. Dr. Ursula Montgomery, director of primary care for NHS England, added the following in the letter: “Given the importance of delivering the Covid-19 autumn booster programme, we would ask that scheduled care home visits—which are a high priority for the programme—be maintained and delivered as planned.
“We strongly advise keeping any clinics scheduled for that day, especially in areas with significant population needs. Due to the fact that this day is a declared bank holiday, general practitioners are legally permitted to close for business on that day.
In order to satisfy patients’ urgent demands for primary medical care, “ICBs (integrated care boards) will need to work swiftly to ensure appropriate out-of-hours (integrated urgent care) services capacity is in place during what would have been core hours.”
ICB chief executives, regional primary care directors, GPs, dentists, and pharmacies received the letter yesterday, September 12, in which it was also stated that the affected areas must make up for missed appointments and ensure that patients can pick up prescriptions ahead of time. To ensure that patients can get emergency dental care and medications on the bank holiday, health administrators will also need to coordinate with local pharmacies and dentists, it was underlined.
It stated: “Unless otherwise agreed by the commissioner, the PCN (primary care network) shall make up the cancelled time by giving extra appointments within a two-week period. All patients must be informed of any appointment cancellations and rescheduling by the PCN.
“GP practises may want to reschedule scheduled appointments and allow patients to pick up prescriptions, particularly repeat medications, before the bank holiday.”
Separate correspondence to the heads of the ICB and NHS trusts cautions that there may be more missed or cancelled appointments, which could have an impact on elective care and clinics during the period of grieving and funerals.
The letter also made note of the anticipated increase in out-of-country mourners travelling to the UK. Sir David Sloman, chief operating officer of NHS England, wrote in the letter that NHS trusts should also have a way to identify foreign visitors, protocols for how to handle them, and make sure they are charged “appropriately.”