Commenting on NHS service provision in Wales on the upcoming Bank Holiday following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Darren Hughes, director of the Welsh NHS Confederation, said:
“Across the UK, NHS services have been reviewing plans for scheduled care, existing inpatient demand, workforce capacity, and other factors and will be providing non-urgent services where workforce arrangements allow for a safe and effective service.
“At a time of extremely high levels of demand and long waiting lists, no one in the NHS wants to have to cancel scheduled care and leaders recognise the upset and concern for patients and their families, however this is an exceptional event. There are many factors affecting the NHS‘ capacity, for example staff with school-aged children will have to consider last minute childcare arrangements and public transport services will be reduced. Some patients will not attend as they will want to pay their respects to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“Individual NHS organisations are communicating with patients and the public to make them aware of any service changes, including planned appointments that may be affected by the day of the funeral.
“It goes without saying that the NHS will do all it can to reschedule any activity that cannot go ahead because of the Bank Holiday arrangements.”
NHS organisations in Wales were informed by Welsh Government on Monday (12th September) of the expectation to run healthcare services in line with normal Bank Holiday arrangements, ensuring urgent and emergency services are maintained and discretion for individual organisations to make the decision for planned care services, where workforce allows, to continue to provide planned elective services with a particular focus on cancer and clinically urgent procedures.