Thousands of hospital appointments are being cancelled up and down the country because of the Queen’s upcoming funeral, it is being reported.
The funeral, which is due to take place on 19 September, has been declared a national Bank Holiday. As a result, a number of NHS trusts have said that appointments will be postponed according to independent global media platform openDemocracy.
Whilst Covid-19 vaccinations and emergency appointments will reportedly continue, some trusts have said that they will be cancelling treatments including hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery, maternity checks and some cancer treatments.
Surgeries in Manchester have begun sending out messages to registered patients this afternoon, The Manc can reveal.
The City Health Centre, housed on Market Street above Boots, told its patients: “The practise will be closed on Monday, 19 September, on the occasion of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral.
“Please order your repeat prescriptions as soon as possible before the bank holiday weekend.”
it continued: “If you require medical advice or attention that cannot wait until the practise is open, please call 111 or visit www.111.nhs.uk. For medical emergencies please dial 999.”
Doctors at one central London hospital trust were reportedly told: “The day of the State Funeral will be treated as a bank holiday so please go ahead and start rescheduling patients.”
The news follows years of growing backlog, with data from the British Medical Association (BMA) in July 2022 showing the NHS had hit an all-time record high of people waiting for treatment with over 6.84 million people on its list.
The figures also show that 377,689 patients have been waiting over one year for treatment – over 365 times the 1,032 people waiting over a year pre-pandemic in July 2019 – and that 2.67 million patients had been waiting over 18 weeks for treatment.
According to openDemocracy, a number of patients who had already been waiting for appointments have seen them cancelled again due to “unforeseen circumstances”.
Following the announcement of the Queen’s death on 8 September, a text from NHS providers informed a pregnant woman that as a result of “unforeseen circumstances” her appointment had been cancelled and that another date “will be rescheduled shortly”.
Meanwhile, Bedfordshire Hospitals Foundation Trust told patients on Monday: “Following the announcement of the plans for the late Her Majesty The Queen’s state funeral on Monday 19 September 2022, some non-urgent planned care appointments/procedures across Bedfordshire Hospitals will be postponed. We will contact all relevant patients if their appointment or procedure is to be re-scheduled.”
Elsewhere in Liverpool, the Women’s Hospital has already warned patients to expect changes on the day of the late Monarch’s funeral.
Feature image – SnapStock / Royal Free NHS
Tributes pour in for Manchester City legend and former chairman Franny Lee
Tributes are being paid to Manchester City legend and former chairman Francis ‘Franny’ Lee CBE, who has passed away aged 79.
The ex-Man City, Bolton Wanderers, Derby County and England star is said to have passed away in the early hours on Monday morning, 2 October, following a long battle with cancer.
Speaking via a club statement, his wife Gill along with children Charlotte, Jonny and Nik said, “He will be sorely missed and would like to thank everyone for their kind words”.
Both Manchester teams led tributes to the British footballing legend, with avid City fan Liam Gallagher and countless others joining in paying their respects.
Franny Lee scored 148 goals in 330 appearances during eight-year City, helping the club win multiple honours during their first periods of success, including the old First Division title back in 1968.
Born in Lancashire and starting out elsewhere in Greater Manchester at Bolton Wanderers, he also went on to play for Derby following his time with the Blues, helping the Rams to their second-ever title in 1975.
The striker also had 27 caps for England between 1968–1972, scoring 10 goals and winning FA Cup, League Cup, European Cup Winners’ Cup and the Charity Shield twice at club level during that period.
Honouring their former centre-forward who went on to serve as Chairman for four years from 1994 onwards, the club statement read, “It is with the deepest sadness and heaviest of hearts we announce the passing of former Manchester City player and Chairman Francis Lee, aged 79”, adding that flags around the Etihad Campus are flying at half-mast.
His first club, Bolton, said of the former marksman, “All at Bolton Wanderers are saddened to learn of the passing of former forward, Francis Lee. The thoughts of everyone at the club are with Francis’ family, friends and loved ones at this difficult time.”
As for legacy as for his time in Blue, the club had already planned to immortalise Lee prior to his death, announcing the erection of a statue back in May 2022, the reveal date of which will no doubt be moved up following his passing.
The club has also assured that “more tributes will follow in the coming days.”
Rest in peace to a legend.
Featured Image — Manchester City/England/Bolton Wanderers (via Twitter)
Government set to announce ban on mobile phones at all schools in England
A ban on mobile phones at all schools in England is expected to be announced by the Government this week.
Although many education institutions nationwide already have their own measures in place, according to reports in several major media outlets today – including BBC News, Sky News, The Guardian, and more – Education Secretary Gillian Keegan is pushing for a move to issue a ‘blanket ban’ on mobile phone usage at all schools in England.
She is poised to announce the ban at the Conservative Party Conference – which is currently happening here in Manchester.
If the ban is successfully introduced, it’s believed that under the new Government guidance, head teachers will be told to prevent all pupils from using mobile phones during the entire school day.
The Department for Education wants the devices banned on breaks too, as well as in class time.
While the Education Secretary appears to be adamant that the ban on the devices is a necessary one, reports are indicating, however, that it will be just guidance and would not actually be enforceable by law, which means the final call will be left up to individual schools to decide on their policy and how they’ll implemented.
It’s also unclear at this stage when the guidance will be published, if approved and introduced, according to Sky News.
Reports on the ban of mobile phones today come after the Government estimated back in 2018 that 95% of schools in England have already imposed restrictions, and also come after both former Schools Minister Nick Gibb, and former Education Secretary Gavin Willamson saying they favoured similar restrictions back in in 2019 and 2021, respectively.
Despite this, however, the Education Department said back in 2022 that blanket national rules were not actually needed, as the majority of schools nationwide were already taking action.
This is likely why some eyebrows at Gillian Keegan’s plans today have been raised.
Dr Patrick Roach, who is the general secretary of teaching union NASUWT, said the Government needs to “focus on properly supporting the work of teachers and headteachers”, rather than announcements “designed to detract attention from more than a decade of policy failure”.
Similarly, the general secretary of the National Education Union, Daniel Kebede, said he hopes the Education Secretary will use her Conference speech today to “announce positive measures that face up to the deep challenges in our schools” instead of “distracting attention from them”.