NHS Scotland appointments will take place 'wherever possible' on day of Queen's funeral, according to Scottish health boards
Several health boards across Scotland have said NHS appointments will continue as planned “wherever possible” as the Scottish Government predicts “some disruptions” on the day of the Queen’s funeral.
It comes after concerns were raised that patients could face cancellations or postponements to their scheduled appointments during the bank holiday.
Monday – the state funeral of the Queen – is a bank holiday across Scotland.
In guidance issued to health boards across Scotland on Tuesday, the Scottish Government states: “Given the short period to plan for the bank holiday, Boards have local discretion and flexibility to plan services while managing the impacts of the day.”
As a result of the guidance to take local discretion, several health boards including NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Lanarkshire issued a statement to update patients on their plans.
It reads: “Following the announcement that Monday 19 September will be the state funeral of Her Majesty the Queen, and as such, a bank holiday, [the health board] is currently putting plans in place so that scheduled appointments can continue as planned wherever possible.
"As plans progress in the coming days, we will publish any further relevant guidance and patient information via our website and social media channels.”
The Scottish Government said there will be some disruptions, however, services including pre-planned treatments and winter vaccination programmes will continue.
Yet, in a section entitled Planned Care, the guidance reads: “Patients with planned appointments that may be impacted should be informed in advance of any changes. However, patients must not be disadvantaged and any rescheduling must not be to the detriment of another patient with greater clinical need for treatment.”
No patient will be penalised for refusing an offer of appointment on the bank holiday next Monday as this would not count towards their two offers.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Many NHS staff and patients will understandably wish to pay appropriate tribute to Her Majesty The Queen and watch the State Funeral on Monday. This will inevitably lead to disruption of some services, although this will be minimised as much as possible.
“Patients should visit their local NHS website for further details.”