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GPC warning over ‘illegal’ royal wedding charges

By Laura Passi

The GPC has warned it is 'illegal' to force GPs to open over the royal wedding, and that practices should not be made to foot the bill for out-of-hours cover over the holiday.

Speaking to Pulse, GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman, stressed that as the royal wedding is a bank holiday then standard bank holiday procedure must be followed by PCOs.

Official advice from the GPC states that on the 29th of April, 'all practices in England, Wales and Northern Ireland should put in place their normal arrangements for bank/public holidays on that date,' but Dr Buckman warned he had heard some practices were being told to stay open.

Dr Buckman said: 'I've heard rumours that GPs were asked to stay open, that's illegal, it's a bank holiday. And I've also heard rumours that OOH organisations have been asking GPs to pay for the privilege of them providing cover on a bank holiday and that is illegal.'

'The answer is, you don't have to pay anything, it's up to the primary care organisation to pay for OOH services and you don't have to provide normal surgeries on a day which is a bank holiday when you are entitled to shut. If it is officially a bank holiday, then it's a bank holiday.'

credit: Flickr, Nick Thompson Bunting across Regents street in preparation for the royal wedding Royal wedding headache?

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