A NUMBER of hospital appointments and operations in Oxfordshire have been called off due to the bank holiday on Monday to mark the Queen’s funeral.

Hospital trusts around the country are expected to make their own decisions around appointments based on local staffing levels and whether or not local transport will mean patients and staff are unable to attend.

Some hospitals have said they will be operating as usual, while others have said that they will postpone some non-urgent appointments.

Oxford University Hospitals trust, which runs the John Radcliffe and Churchill hospitals and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford, as well as the Horton General Hospital in Banbury, said that most planned operations and outpatient appointments booked for Monday will be rescheduled.

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A spokesperson for the trust said: “We would like to reassure residents in Oxfordshire that we will continue to run emergency and urgent care services on the additional bank holiday that has been declared for Monday for the Queen’s funeral.

“Most planned operations and outpatient appointments booked for Monday will be rescheduled and we will contact patients directly affected to rearrange their appointment. 

Sara Randall, chief operating officer, said: “In line with organisations up and down the country, we will mark the day of Her Majesty the Queen’s funeral as a bank holiday. 

“We plan to run the same services for patients that we do on other bank holidays during the course of the year. Urgent and emergency care will, of course, continue. This includes urgent cancer care.

“Our staff will contact patients whose routine outpatient appointments or operations are postponed to ensure that they are rescheduled in a timely way.

“If people need urgent, but not life-threatening, medical help over the bank holiday, or at any other time of the year, the teams at NHS 111 are on hand to help and give advice to direct you to the most appropriate service.”

READ MORE: Patients in Oxfordshire urged to order their prescriptions in advance this bank holiday

Rosalind Pearce, executive director at Healthwatch Oxfordshire, the independent health and social care watchdog for the county, said: “We haven’t heard directly from any patients affected by cancelled hospital appointments or operations, but we are aware that the short notice of this bank holiday will affect the capacity of the trust to maintain its usual service on Monday, and the potential impact this might have on patients. We would hope that any cancelled appointments are rescheduled as soon as practically possible.”

A spokesperson for the NHS in England said: “As with any bank holiday, NHS staff will work to ensure that urgent and emergency services, including urgent dental and GP appointments, are available — and patients will be contacted by their local trusts, if necessary, regarding their existing appointments.”

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This story was written by Anna Colivicchi, she joined the team this year and covers health stories for the Oxfordshire papers. 

Get in touch with her by emailing: Anna.colivicchi@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @AnnaColivicchi