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GP practices not expected to have to open during late May bank holiday

by Sofia Lind
11 May 2020

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GP practices are likely going to be able to operate under usual bank holiday arrangements on 25 May, NHS England has said.

Practices were asked to treat the Easter bank holiday as a normal working day, while during Friday’s VE day bank holiday practice opening was left subject to local arrangements.

NHS England said bank holiday reimbursement rates for those practices that did have to open last Friday would be similar to those announced for Easter.

Speaking in a live webinar on Thursday evening, director for drimary care strategy and NHS contracts Ed Waller said: ‘Our intention is that unless things change, we are not expecting the 25 May bank holiday to be a day on which we need to make arrangements beyond normal bank holiday set up.’

He further thanked GPs for being ‘willing’ to work on bank holidays when it’s ‘not what a lot of people want to do’.

He said: ‘I wanted to thank everybody who has made arrangements for tomorrow (Friday). I know working on a bank holiday is not what a lot of people want to do but we’re very grateful that you are willing to do it when it’s necessary.’

He added that this weekend’s rates for reimbursement would be ‘very similar’ to the Easter ones, with more details to come with the Covid support fund.

NHS England announced ‘provisional’ details of the Covid support fund, which remains with the Treasury for sign off, as part of Thursday’s webinar.

GP practices are set to receive financial support for staff absence cover due to Covid-19 as well as any extra staff needed to deliver care homes services, it said.

NHS England anticipates support to be available ‘retrospectively from a specified date in March 2020 up to end of June 2020 initially before review’.