The government has confirmed that Monday 19 September – the day of the Queen’s funeral – will be a Bank Holiday.
GP practices will be contractually able to close on this day for their core services as it is a confirmed bank holiday. ICBs will need to prioritise the provision of sufficient out-of-hours (Integrated Urgent Care) services, during what would have been core hours to meet patient’s urgent primary medical care needs.
GP practices will also wish to consider rescheduling pre-booked appointments and enabling patients to receive prescriptions, especially repeat medicines, in advance of the bank holiday.
As for other NHS primary care services:
- COVID-19 Vaccination services. Given the importance of delivering the COVID-19 autumn booster programme, scheduled care home visits (which are a high priority for the programme) are maintained and delivered as planned. Any scheduled clinics should maintained particularly where there is a high population need. Providers should discuss with their local commissioner any need to flex or condense hours to support providers.
- Extended hours access. Primary Care Networks (PCNs) that had planned to provide extended hours on this day may wish to continue to offer these hours or cancel as per para 8.1.7 of the Network contract DES specification. The PCN must make up the cancelled time by offering additional appointments within a two-week period unless otherwise agreed by the commissioner.
Read the letter.