PATIENTS are facing the cancellation of “many planned appointments” due to Queen Elizabeth’s funeral with only the most urgent or high-risk going ahead, a health board has warned.

NHS Highland, which also covers Argyll and Bute, says those who have scheduled treatment or clinics on Monday will be impacted by plans for staff to observe the national day of mourning.

NHS Fife and NHS Dumfries and Galloway health boards have both also said surgery will continue based on “clinical priority” and the intention is to “retain as many outpatient appointments as possible”.

Patients are being advised to continue to attend at the allocated time unless contacted directly to reschedule.

The Scottish Government has given discretion to NHS boards to manage and plan local health services during the “exceptional” bank holiday. GP surgeries are to close and a number of “non-critical” routine clinics are also being cancelled in other areas.

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Pam Dudek, NHS Highland chief executive, said: “We will observe the national day of mourning to recognise the significance of the death of the Queen and the majority of our colleagues will not be working on that day.

“We recognise that many of our colleagues will still be rostered to work on this day and we thank them in advance for their dedication and commitment.

“For patients who have scheduled treatment or clinics on Monday 19th September, our intention is that only the most time-critical or high risk will go ahead and we will be making contact with those patients directly to confirm that they will still be seen and to confirm they wish to proceed with the appointment.

“This means that many planned appointments will be cancelled and we will be contacting those impacted directly to make them aware of this, over the coming days.

“However, some local variation will be expected due to the complexity of the situation and this will be communicated and agreed locally with any patients who are impacted.”

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Dudek said the majority of GPs and primary care services such as pharmacies would also be taking the bank holiday, but scheduled Covid vaccination clinics will continue as planned across Highland and Argyll and Bute.

Both NHS Fife and NHS Borders issued a statement which said: “Our surgical theatre programme will continue to operate based on clinical priority. Patients will be contacted directly if their appointment needs to be rescheduled, and unless patients hear otherwise, they should attend their appointment on Monday.

“On the issue of outpatient appointments, the statement added: “We intend to retain as many of our outpatient appointments as possible and patients are advised to continue to attend at their allocated appointment time unless they are contacted directly to reschedule.”

The health boards also asked patients to get in contact to reschedule appointments on Monday if they wished to rearrange the date due to the Queen’s funeral.