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Unclear if nurses will get overtime pay on day of Queen’s funeral

Clarity sought on overtime payments for nurses who work on Monday’s bank holiday, following a muddle during the Queen’s Jubilee
The Queen pictured during a visit to Edinburgh in July last year

Clarity sought on overtime payments for nurses who work on Monday’s bank holiday, following a muddle during the Queen’s Jubilee

District and community nurses working in primary care could be allowed to have the bank holiday off to pay their respects to the Queen when her funeral is held on Monday, but the RCN has asked for clarity on whether those who work will be paid overtime.

GP practices have been told they are entitled to close core services on 19 September for the state funeral of Her Majesty to allow staff to pay their respects, new guidance from NHS England states.

Clarity sought on overtime payments for nurses who work on Monday’s bank holiday, following a muddle during the Queen’s Jubilee

The Queen pictured during a visit to Edinburgh in July last year
The Queen pictured during a visit to Edinburgh in July last year Picture: Alamy

District and community nurses working in primary care could be allowed to have the bank holiday off to pay their respects to the Queen when her funeral is held on Monday, but the RCN has asked for clarity on whether those who work will be paid overtime.

GP practices have been told they are entitled to close core services on 19 September for the state funeral of Her Majesty to allow staff to pay their respects, new guidance from NHS England states.

However, the RCN has called on the government to provide urgent clarity on bank holiday payments for nurses who are working, with NHS leaders still waiting for confirmation on how overtime will be paid.

Lack of leadership during the Jubilee led to uncertainty for staff and confusion for the public, says RCN

RCN associate director for employment relations Brian Morton said: ‘Ministers need to provide clarity on this as soon as possible. For the Queen’s Jubilee they failed to provide leadership, leading to uncertainty for staff and confusion for the public.

‘Nursing staff will be there to provide core services as they always do on a public holiday. On one of this significance… nursing staff should be paid or have time off in accordance with NHS public holiday terms and conditions.’

Mr Morton urged the government to follow Scotland’s lead in confirming that NHS staff who work on Monday will be paid overtime in accordance with official public holidays.

Meanwhile, NHS England warned that while GP services will be able to close on the bank holiday, there remains a need for ‘sufficient’ out-of-hours care for patients.

Nurses delivering scheduled COVID-19 booster visits to care homes are expected to work as planned, and other planned clinics are ‘strongly’ encouraged to stay open. Primary care networks (PCNs) that cancel appointments have been told they must reschedule them within two weeks.

Primary care professionals and their teams will want to pay their respects, says NHS England

A letter signed by NHS England’s director of primary care Dr Ursula Montgomery said: ‘As the commissioner of primary care services, NHS England and integrated care boards (ICBs) have the responsibility to ensure patients can access the primary care services they need.

‘However, primary care professionals and their teams will want to pay their respects on this day wherever possible and contractually may be supported to do so with the declaration of the bank holiday.’

In a separate letter, health leaders across the NHS have also been warned to expect high numbers of cancellations or no-shows at outpatient clinics and hospitals due to the mourning period, impacting on clinics and elective care. Nurses working in mental health and community settings are also warned that ‘some patients may be destabilised by the death of Queen Elizabeth II and require additional support’.

But while some activity in primary care may be scaled back, the NHS Confederation said that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is yet to confirm how bank holiday pay and overtime will be applied for working staff.

NHS Confederation’s director of policy Dr Layla McCay said: ‘As different rates of payment are given to front-line health and care staff for working over bank holidays, NHS leaders are awaiting confirmation from the government that this additional cost will be compensated in full.’

The DHSC has been contacted for comment.


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