Hospital services

Suffolk: How the Queen’s funeral affects hospital services

2:38 PM September 13, 2022

2:39 PM September 13, 2022

Hospitals in Suffolk and North Essex said they would contact patients who have appointments on Monday and whether they will need to be delayed or brought forward.

With Monday September 19 being a national public holiday for the Queen’s funeral, hospitals across the country have postponed non-emergency appointments.

Neill Moloney, deputy chief executive of East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘We want to make sure we keep all our patients safe, and we are contacting patients to let them know what is happening with their Monday appointment.

“More services will be operating than on a typical public holiday, with a focus on providing care and treatment to our most urgent patients, including cancer patients and urgent surgeries.

“Teams are working hard to reschedule any delayed appointments within 28 days. Some appointments will be brought forward to this week.

“If patients have an appointment for Monday, we kindly ask them to contact us via the number on their appointment letter if they have not heard from us by Friday morning.”

The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, in Bury St Edmunds, has confirmed it will be contacting patients as soon as possible about any outpatient appointments or scheduled procedures due to take place on Monday.

GP surgeries are also expected to be closed on Monday.

North East Essex and Suffolk NHS officials said: “If you have an appointment for that day you will be contacted to reschedule it. If you use prescription medication repeatedly, please check that you will have enough to last.

A separate letter, sent by NHS England officials on Monday, asked health officials to ensure there was “sufficient” out-of-hours coverage as GPs closed on Monday.

An NHS spokesperson in England said: “As with any public holiday, NHS staff will endeavor to ensure that emergency and emergency services, including urgent dental appointments and GP, are available – and patients will be contacted by their local trusts, if necessary, regarding their existing appointments.

“Covid vaccination services, particularly in care homes, are urged to continue their work given the importance of protecting people ahead of winter and the public should access NHS services in the usual way, including via 111 online or 999 in case of emergency.”