Thousands of hospital appointments will be cancelled on September 19 as Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral is set to take place.

The day of mourning has been made a Bank Holiday in the UK to allow the public to observe the ceremony.

The Queen passed away on Thursday, September 8 whilst at her Balmoral estate. It had been announced earlier in the day that she was under medical observation.

The monarch was 96 years old.

On the day of her funeral, it has been reported by openDemocracy that many hospital appointments have been cancelled, with some NHS trusts saying that “non-urgent” procedures and clinic appointments should be postponed.

This includes hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery, maternity checks and even some cancer treatments.

According to the report, patients who waited months for treatment were informed they had been postponed due to “unforeseen circumstances”.

NHS England told openDemocracy the decision to postpone appointments is “for trusts to make locally”.

Will the Queen’s funeral be a bank holiday?

It was announced on Saturday, September 10, that the Queen’s funeral will be a bank holiday.

However, guidance from the Government doesn’t guarantee everyone a day off.

The new guidance means that employers will decide whether staff will be given the day off for the Queen’s funeral.

It says: “This is a matter for discussion between individuals and their employer.

“There is no statutory entitlement to time off for bank holidays, but employers may include bank holidays as part of a worker’s leave entitlement.

“The government cannot interfere in existing contractual arrangements between employers and workers.

“However, we would expect that many workers will be able to take the day off on the bank holiday.

“We also expect employers to respond sensitively to requests from workers who wish to take the day of the funeral off work.”

Hospital appointments cancelled for Queen’s funeral

A pregnant woman told openDemocracy that she received a text cancelling a scan.

The message read: “We regret that due to unforeseen circumstances, your appointment to see a member of the team in the Fetal Medicine Centre on Monday 19th September has been cancelled. A new appointment date will be rescheduled shortly.”

The Queen's life in pictures

In trying to reschedule, the woman was placed on hold for 4 hours.

She told openDemocracy: “I’m really disappointed. Yes, it’s a routine scan, but that’s another week or two until I’m seen and wondering whether my baby is healthy – which means quite a lot of anxiety, sitting and waiting.”

GPs can close on the day of the Queen’s funeral

This comes as it has been announced that GP surgeries can close on the day of the Queen’s funeral, however suitable out-of-hours treatment must be accessible.

It also asked for scheduled Covid booster care home visits to be carried out as planned and “strongly” encouraged clinics due that day to stay open.

The letter, signed by NHS England’s director of primary care Dr Ursula Montgomery, added: “Given the importance of delivering the Covid-19 autumn booster programme, we would ask that scheduled care home visits (which are a high priority for the programme) are maintained and delivered as planned.

“We strongly encourage any clinics scheduled on that day to be maintained, particularly where there is a high population need.

“GP practices will be contractually able to close on this day for their core services as it is a confirmed bank holiday.

“ICBs (integrated care boards) will need to urgently work to ensure sufficient out-of-hours (integrated urgent care) services capacity is in place during what would have been core hours to meet patient’s urgent primary medical care needs.”

Health bosses will also need to work with dentists and community pharmacies to confirm available services on the bank holiday so patients can access urgent dental care and medicines, it added.