NHS England wrote to all practices on 28th October setting out their expectations for cover during the Christmas and New Year period.
With both Christmas and New Year’s Eve falling at the weekend this year, hopefully the implications for practices should be minimal. However, for clarity the LMC recently shared with practices BMA guidance. Practices are reminded that there is no requirement within the Extended Hours SLA for practices to seek approval to move extended hours sessions during the festive period:-
xxi) Where practices have regularly scheduled sessions on Mondays or Fridays where there are bank holidays, the practice is required to reschedule the session and notify patients of practice closure and additional session dates. Practices are reminded that Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are not bank holidays, however NHS England would allow re-scheduling as detailed above if sessions fall on these days.
xxii) Where scheduled extended opening sessions fall on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day, sessions should be re-scheduled and practices must ensure that patients are aware of the closure.
If you have any queries on this, please do not hesitate to contact the LMC office.