NHS and care leaders in South Yorkshire are advising communities to take
action ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend and are offering guidance of how to
access services over the course of the weekend.
People are advising communities to make sure they order and collect
prescriptions or stock home medicines as some community pharmacies may close
during the holiday. NHS and care staff are also working hard to ensure those patients who become well enough to spend the
holiday at home can be discharged in time, and will be working closely with
families to facilitate this.
Urgent and emergency services are likely to be busier than usual ahead
of and following the funeral of Her Majesty the Queen. In addition, most health
and care services will continue across the region and teams are working to
limit disruption to outpatient appointments, GP appointments and other routine
appointments that will be affected as health and care staff mark the funeral.
Patients will be contacted directly by the relevant NHS or care provider to let
them know if their appointment or procedure is affected.
Mental health support is available for anyone in a crisis and anyone
needing support for anxiety, depression, low mood can access services directly.
Gavin Boyle, Chief Executive of NHS South Yorkshire, said: “It was with
much sadness that we learned Her Majesty The Queen had died. Everyone working
in the NHS and Care send their heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family at
this time of national mourning.
“We know that before, during and after bank holidays our urgent and
emergency services tend to be busier than usual. We anticipate this weekend and
next week will be similar as communities rightly come together to remember Her
Majesty the Queen. As such, we would ask all our communities to use urgent and
emergency services appropriately and use the online NHS111 service initially
for non-emergency needs.
“What will be different is that the NHS doesn’t schedule outpatient
appointments, GP appointments and other routine appointments on planned bank
holidays. To ensure as many NHS and care staff as possible can mark the passing
of Her Majesty the Queen themselves, some of these appointments on Bank Holiday
Monday will be rescheduled. The providers of these services will be in touch
with patients directly to inform them if they are affected.”
The NHS and care will be taking pre-emptive measures ahead of the Bank
Holiday weekend, and this includes supporting our communities to access
pharmacies in advance of any closures to restock or re-order repeat
Dr James Griffiths, Emergency Department Consultant, said: “People
turning up at hospitals with minor illnesses may face long waits for treatment.
We do see people who attend Emergency Department (A&E) with coughs and
colds, or other minor ailments, which can be easily treated by a pharmacist or at
home. For more advice and guidance, I would ask our communities to visit
NHS111 online, which can direct you to the most appropriate service.
“Pharmacies can help with advice and give many over the counter
solutions to colds, tummy troubles and rashes. Some of these may be affected by
the Bank Holiday, so if you need a routine prescription please make plans to do
so before the Bank Holiday if you may run short of your usual medicine.”
NHS and Care staff will be supporting those inpatients in hospitals and
care facilities who are well enough to return home ahead of the Bank Holiday.
Cathy Winfield MBE, Chief Nursing Officer of NHS South Yorkshire, said:
“I know many patients who are in hospital this week will be anxious to get home
so that they can spend the day with their family. Her Majesty The Queen meant
so much to our communities, especially those of our older generation who may be
in hospital at this time, and I know many will hope to watch the funeral at
home with their families.
“We’ll be doing everything we can to ensure those who are well enough to
go home can do so. For those who need to remain in hospital, I know our nursing
teams across the system will do everything they can to support patients to mark
Gavin Boyle added: “The Queen dedicated her life to public service and
we will always be grateful for the way she recognised the compassion and
courage of those who worked in health and care. Those same staff will now mark
the passing of Her Majesty the Queen themselves. On behalf of all senior NHS
and care leaders, our clinical teams and the many teams who support them, we
are very grateful to the public for using the appropriate service through this