Cancer treatments & maternity screenings canceled for QEII’s Monday funeral

Keep in mind, I’m not denying that there have been significant crowds out for everything involving Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, procession and lying in state. Thousands of people have come out in London and Edinburgh and flowers have been left at various royal properties. I mentioned on Twitter the other day that I thought the BBC newscasters were overestimating the number of people in various crowds, and various people started yelling at me, like I was trying to say no one has come out for QEII. I still say that certain broadcasters were – and perhaps still are – overestimating the number of people out. There seems to be a very specific need to “hype” this eleven/twelve day mourning period as so much bigger and more significant than… um, the wall-to-wall crowds when Princess Diana died.

I bring this up because I think other people are overestimating the level of the public’s grief too, to the point where too many needed services are being canceled. The NHS is literally canceling cancer treatments and maternity checks because of the Queen’s funeral.

Thousands of hospital patients across the United Kingdom are having their appointments canceled on Monday due to Queen Elizabeth’s funeral. The late monarch, who died Sept. 8 at the age of 96, will have a state funeral and many National Health Service (NHS) trusts are canceling “non-urgent” appointments and procedures due to the holiday.

Doctors at one London hospital were reportedly told, “The day of the State Funeral will be treated as a bank holiday so please go ahead and start rescheduling patients,” according to OpenDemocracy.

Canceled appointments include hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery, maternity checks and some cancer treatments, the outlet reports. A pregnant woman told OpenDemocracy that her fetal scan at a different London hospital trust has been canceled due to the Queen’s funeral.

“I’m really disappointed,” she shared. “Yes, it’s a routine scan, but that’s another week or two until I’m seen and wondering whether my baby is healthy — which means quite a lot of anxiety, sitting and waiting.”

However, COVID-19 vaccination appointments and emergency services will continue as planned.

Prior to the cancellations, hospital waiting lists reached an all-time high with 6.8 million patients waiting for medical appointments at the end of July and more than 377,000 people not receiving care for more than a year.

[From People]

This is… wrong. Completely wrong. On a technical level, shouldn’t it be up to hospitals and doctors as to whether they want to take the day off or see patients as usual? It’s insane – yes, while some of this stuff is not life-or-death, neither is publicly mourning the death of a 96-year-old woman.

In addition to the maternity screenings and CANCER TREATMENTS, various much-needed non-profit services are shutting down for the funeral too. There are several food banks in the UK closing down on Monday, many in the greater London area. Oh, and bloody Stonehenge is shutting down too! So are all of the museums.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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77 Responses to “Cancer treatments & maternity screenings canceled for QEII’s Monday funeral”

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  1. Merricat says:

    No one should be denied health care because the queen popped her clogs. Seriously, that is not sane. The queen does not care one whit, as she is not available to care.
    Funerals are for the living. Charles is proving to be a terrible king.

    • SarahCS says:

      Absolutely, and that’s before you even get close to the terrible backlogs and crisis in the NHS at the moment. They need every minute they can get to treat people.

      You also have funerals being cancelled so people are having to deal with that on top of already grieving for their own loved ones.

    • Seraphina says:

      Yup. Just shows that they believe the world and sun revolve around them and the hell with everyone else.

    • The Hench says:

      Not caping for Charles the Turd but the Government has said very clearly that, although Monday is a bank holiday “Businesses are under no obligation to close” so this ridiculous call for the NHS is nothing to do with him. More likely that, as a bank hols, different rates of pay are due for staff working in certain areas or from agencies so someone, somewhere may be trying to save money. Either way, it’s a nonsense decision given the inconvenience and distress caused to all those that are getting procedures postponed.

    • DouchesOfCambridge says:

      Well that is completely stupid. Im all for honouring the queen but commin sense would not make people suffer or die because of the death of someone prominent. It goes 100% against the nature of the Queen: service to the people.

      • Tina says:

        Because it has been declared a bank holiday by Charles all the schools, nurseries and child care options are shut. I am a frontline NHS worker and have no childcare so cannot work. NHS staff are dealing with enough right now without being made to feel guilty about this. It’s out of our control, we literally can’t work – I think they would frown on leaving a 6 year old at home alone! They should have had the funeral on a weekend to stop this happening.

    • Trillion says:

      The monarchy has never appeared more ridiculous and useless to me. But I have no nostalgia for this, as an American.

      • kirk says:

        Trillion – ITA. As an American, I am annoyed at Biden for ordering federal facilities to half-mast the flag until her funeral because it’s taken way too damn long for this woman to finish dying. I understand the half-mast gesture for foreign dignitaries, but they weren’t down that long for Abe and he was freaking assassinated!

  2. Noki says:

    There was a sea of flowers for Diana and hundreds of thousands of people from when they announced,to her arriving back in UK and ofcourse her actual funeral.Dianas was tragic so the shock and grief compelled those things. The Queen is a good turn out though i expected lots more flowers unless they are removing then and are putting up more barriers.

  3. Amy T says:

    Wonder if the guy who puts the toothpaste on KCIII’s toothbrush gets Monday off…this is just wrong.

    • Carrot says:

      Just in case, the night time nanny will put toothpaste on the toothbrush Sunday night and leave a gilt-edged diagram instructing how to pick up the toothbrush from the tray

    • Renae says:

      Good one!
      What “Royal Expert” do we ask for the answer?

  4. Rachael says:

    As a citizen and resident of the UK, I have to agree that this is ridiculous, frivolous and harmful.

  5. ThatsNotOkay says:

    I mean, they’re treating these like recreational surgeries and frivolous cancer treatments. How irresponsible.

  6. jra says:

    And why are they doing this? No one is requesting this level of insanity or even suggesting it…?!

  7. equality says:

    So unimportant if the peasants have enough to eat or get needed medical attention, so long as they realize the utter importance and value of the monarchy.

  8. Laura-Lee MacDonald says:

    I’m stunned. I’m in Ontario, where we are not going to get a day off due to the “damage to the economy” (ugh), but even on holidays, our agency delivers care, we just get holiday pay. I’ll bet that money (if NHS workers are entitled to extra pay) is the reason behind the cancellations, not reverence for the dead queen.

  9. Ina says:

    This is sheer insanity. They are playing with other people’s lives. I was a patient advocate for a cancer patient and a single day makes a huge difference whether it’s therapeutic care or surgery. The elevation of the queen like some kind of G-d is ridiculous and dangerous.

  10. DaniLou says:

    They’re definitely trying to compete with the level of grief that was shown when Diana died. There’s not near the same level of flowers either. I don’t find the two comparable, but it’s just the vanity of the Windsors. Diana was young, her death was a huge shock. The Queen had a good life and died peacefully at an old age – if only we were all guaranteed that in life. She had to go at some point!

  11. Ginny says:

    I simply do not understand why cancer treatment, of all things, would not be considered essential and urgent.

    • Jessie Quinton says:

      It’s not even that they’re causing a minor inconvenience, either. The NHS has a backlog of TWO years on treatment for things. They’re voluntarily adding more to the backlog. It’s insane.

  12. C-Shell says:

    I guess I could understand why some services IN LONDON might be suspended for the day due to crowds/traffic/security, but I absolutely do not get why services anywhere else in the UK would be canceled. It should be up to businesses and consumers/patients/et al. whether they want to postpone their appointments in order to watch the wall to wall coverage of the funeral. There is NO justification for closing essential services like food banks. It’s cruel, but that seems pretty on brand these days.

    • Kathy says:

      That’s what I thought too. London will probably on complete lock down during the funeral. I imagine it being difficult to navigate by bus or car in that time. But away from that… I didn’t get. If company’s or whatever what to close down, they will be able to go so anyways, right?

  13. Louise177 says:

    How do you cancel cancer treatments? I would be freaking out.

    • BeanieBean says:

      This. I was with my mother through every step of her treatment for multiple myeloma. Timing is crucial in cancer treatment. This is just appalling.

  14. Jessie Quinton says:

    I saw people on Twitter saying food banks and domestic abuse shelters/charities were being shut.

    Because…screw the poor and abused, I guess!

    • Lorelei says:

      @Jessie, that’s absolutely obscene. How on earth are they justifying this??

      • Lulu says:

        Because a lot of these services are largely staffed by regular volunteers that have asked for the day off to pay
        their respects, some of the food banks have come back out and said that due to the publicity/backlash replacement volunteers have stepped in so they will now be open that day. This should be a larger conversation about essential services resting on the shoulders of a select few unpaid “staff”.

      • Jessie Quinton says:

        What Lulu said… services and infrastructure in this country are just a mess from top to bottom even without this!

  15. ErgGirl says:

    Absurd and wrong. This is too much for one person, even a monarch. It’s forced worship at this point and I’d say it does the Queen’s memory wrong, but she must have signed off on this? I just can’t with the level of hubris and privilege when so many are suffering in the world, to say nothing of the actual planet. How cool it would have been if she had signed off on none of this and gave a bunch of money to fighting climate change and told heads of state to not fly in, but watch on zoom.

    But the rest of us just don’t matter.

  16. Ronaldinhio says:

    My spinal injection has been cancelled. I only realised today as it has become abstract as time has dragged with the hundred mini funerals events so far.
    Irritating as I needed this prior to Covid and was only getting it now.
    No idea when the new spot will arrive.

    Serious crime reviews have also all been cancelled.
    They involve experts from all over the country and this sets the work back probably 3 mths.
    Learning, process improvement and safeguarding set back

    I simply don’t think health or justice should be cancelled

    • SarahCS says:

      I’m so sorry to hear that, wishing you luck in getting another appointment scheduled.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Your situation brings up a good point. So much important health care got delayed due to the pandemic, and they want to delay some more for TQ’s funeral??? That’s just wrong.
      I am so sorry you’re going through this, I hope you get your needed injection soon.

  17. equality says:

    So obviously they are letting things like florist shops stay open so that more tributes can be put out for embiggening the RF? It’s odd too if you consider the state of the economy and regular people spending money on things like that.

  18. ML says:

    Out of curiosity, who exactly is responsible for planning Operation Unicorn? It’s not exactly a secret that the world is still dealing with the aftermath of Covid, and in Great Britain Brexit has also had a massive impact. Presuming they wanted a smooth transition between QE2 and KC3, especially because the later is not as popular, wouldn’t they take that into account?

  19. PaperclipExtraordinaire says:


  20. Lorelei says:

    JFC! This is out of control. Canceling people’s medical appointments? Enough is enough, my god.

    And Kaiser, ITA about the crowd-overestimation. Even last weekend, I found myself hoping that someone would put together some of the aerial shots where you could see there was *a lot* of open grass behind lines that were about two people deep. Like the ones that showed how inflated T***p’s inauguration numbers were. The camera angles made the crowds look deceivingly huge.

    (And yes it’s petty, but I totally think Diana got more flowers, and I love it!)

    • kirk says:

      Well re: the flower comparison, the official line is that you won’t see as many as for Diana because they’re being gathered up and taken someplace. Saw interesting Vice article by photographer showing pix of people climbing Buckingham walls. He said the crowd was totally different from other royal events in the past, basically half the people just losing their minds.

  21. Jais says:

    This isn’t mourning; this is unending privilege run amok. The hubris and audacity. It’s gross disgusting and wrong.

  22. rawiya says:

    The number of people who could possibly (will probably) die (missing surgery; not getting a meal) because one OLD pampered well-off woman…who was OLD (my gosh, she was 96!) died is horrific. Imagine your 35 year old sister not having a biopsy on Monday because of Lizzie, and that’s the biopsy that would have caught her lung cancer in time. Imagine. Because they think everyone wants to clap over some dead old woman. So much for her being about the “people” and caring so much about the “people”.

  23. Naomi says:

    Shutting down these serves for the queen’s funeral is ethically wrong — full stop.

    But even ethics aside: how bad does it look for the Monarchy that they’re getting in the way of food for the poor and non-elective surgeries??? Like that is some old school 13th century feudalism sh*t!

  24. SarahCS says:

    Also covid boosters, including for a lady who scheduled hers carefully as she’s due to be starting chemo so needed it a certain time ahead of that. It’s absurd, I feel so awful for all the people suffering as a result of these decisions. We’re on 2022 not 1952, the UK has changed.

    Don’t even get me started on food banks closing, I’m sure all those families will shed a tear for the queen as they go to bed hungry on Monday night.

  25. Eurydice says:

    When Diana died, there were hours-long lines of people waiting to sign the condolence book at the consulate here in Boston. With the Queen, it’s just “you’re welcome to walk in and sign the book.” That’s not to say there isn’t an orgy of coverage on TV, but that’s more for the pageantry of the event.

  26. nutella toast says:

    …and this from the land of “…and carry on” as their motto for everything?
    I guess it’s just for the regular people to “carry on” – maybe the new motto should be “just suck it up [unless you have your own private doctors]”.
    Yeah…cancer doesn’t pause for monarchs.

  27. Becks1 says:

    Yeah I said on twitter that I think there are big crowds to see the queen, but not quite what some of the broadcasters are saying. Which I don’t get….there are thousands out to see her, especially yesterday to see the coffin procession, just say that? don’t lie about it.

    I think canceling health services is ridiculous though. I can’t imagine how stressed some people are about that.

  28. claire says:

    Look I’m Irish and I live in the uk so have zero love for the monarchy but what you’re misunderstanding is that it’s a ‘bank holiday’ of which there are 10 or so a year. Bank holidays are like evening and weekends, some services are not open. no one’s going to cancel essential treatment, it’s basically a long weekend. And no, doctors don’t get to decide if a place is open because that’s not how a state run service works.

    • Desdemona says:

      I’m sorry, but the treatments for cancer are being cancelled: ”

      A man has taken to Twitter to reveal that his wife’s breast cancer appointment has been rescheduled due to the Queen’s funeral. On Tuesday (13 September) a Twitter user called Matt wrote: “Wife’s breast cancer appointment cancelled Monday, which means all breast cancer appointments are cancelled on Monday.She has a new one in a month. I’m sure she’ll be fine, but that’s a wait that will almost certainly cost lives. This is an obscenity, in the name of the monarchy.”

      I agree with him…

      It reported that doctors at one London hospital were told: “The day of the State Funeral will be treated as a bank holiday so please go ahead and start rescheduling patients.”

      Hospital waiting lists hit an all-time high in July, openDemocracy reported, with more than 6.8m people waiting for appointments, with more than 377,000 waiting for a year.

      It’s outrageous.

    • Jais says:

      I think the issue is that a bank holiday is planned, as in you wouldn’t scheduled an appt on that day weeks in advance, you’d plan around the bank holiday. Clearly, the queens death was unexpected so important appointments that were made well in advance are being cancelled. So not quite the same as a bank holiday.

  29. MA says:

    It’s giving North Korea

  30. Izzy says:

    After a two-year pandemic which saw critical healthcare needs shunted to the side, they are once more canceling important health procedures because a 96-year-old woman died peacefully of natural causes. Utterly ridiculous.

  31. Desdemona says:

    This is so , so, so wrong…. Morally and ethically wrong. And people accept because an old woman died?? I can’t….

  32. Pip says:

    I work for an NHS Trust &, yes, unfortunately we are cancelling a random selection of appointments & even surgeries on Monday. However this is because from the moment they announced a national bank holiday, this was inevitable. People/some people expect to have the day off – not necessarily because they give a monkey’s about the monarchy but just because it’s a rare day off. You have to understand how ground down & demoralised we are in the NHS – for instance where’s the pay rise we were due in April then? – so people will seize upon a paid day off with no second thought for the consequences. Sorry patients – welcome to your beloved NHS.

  33. tamsin says:

    It’s life her subjects are being punished for her death.

  34. The Hench says:

    It would appear that leaving some people to their own devices as to whether or not they should close for the queen’s funeral has caused some Brains of Britain to really outdo themselves. Centre Parcs – a holiday village for those outside the UK – randomly decided that they would close on Monday and asked all their current guests TO GO HOME AND COME BACK TUESDAY!!!! Can you imagine – you’re on holiday for a week with your family, that you planned months ago and paid for and Centre Parcs expect you to pack up, drive home and come back again. Understandably people went nuts so now they are saying that guests are allowed to remain on site but “have to stay inside”. How are they going to police that? It’s utterly bonkers. Much easier and just as ‘respectful’ would have been to put up screens and invite all their guests to communal areas to watch the funeral together but common sense is beyond them.

    One guest said she waited for two hours to get through on the helpline to rearrange her holiday and when she got put through the Centre Parc’s staff member was sobbing on the phone from the abuse she had received from angry, upset clients. What a mess.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Reminds me of the trump admin’s government shutdown. For SEVEN WEEKS people’s lives were upended. People reliant on Health & Human Services were the most hard-hit, but those long-planned vacations to National Parks got thrown out of whack, too.

  35. DeltaJuliet says:

    Full disclosure, I am in the USA but it has been so hard to get an appointment for anything the last three years, and if you cancel you will be waiting a long time to get another appointment. Is it as bad in the UK? I can’t imagine cancelling medical procedures? That’s just so, so wrong.

    • Sid says:

      Delta I had similar thoughts. I have a great-aunt who receives monthly infusion therapy for an autoimmune disease at one of the top hospitals in the U.S. and world. Appointments have to be booked well in advance and heaven help you if you need to change your appointment date for any reason. You could end up delaying treatment for a couple of weeks and even miss it for the month. In a scenario like the bank holiday for QEII’s funeral where they cancelled everyone’s appointment, it would be a mess trying to reschedule all those patients.

    • Renae says:

      Canada here (retired American nurse).
      Due to the pandemic, my husband finally got the operation on Aug. 10.
      He had only waited TWO YEARS!
      I cannot imagine it put off again because a privileged, old (96) , RICH woman *ceased to be”.
      Easy for the royals. I’m sure Buck palace (or Windsor,or Balmoral or even the *Queens Flight* ) has doctors and even hospital staff o hand at all times or at least on-call.
      This Lizzy-goes-to-ground tour is going on too long.
      Plant her already!

  36. VJM204 says:

    I work on the maternity ward of a major London hospital. Obviously urgent care still in place but COME ON! Support staff can’t work because (cue the clown music here) nurseries/schools/childcare are shut on Monday and people literally cannot come to the ward (but don’t worry, we still very much have to pay for childcare on bank holidays). Sooo…people missing out on vital care, NHS staff have to pay to lose a day of work and most importantly, women miss out on care? Uggghhh. The pageantry and total nonsense is off the charts. The DM is losing its mind over…Kate’s earrings?? A hot equerry?? No wonder H&M got the hell out of dodge—this overblown mourning just highlights how bonkers our forced national worship of the Firm has gone…

    • Original penguin says:

      This is very much a decision made by those who don’t have to deal with the consequences.

      There is literally no affordable childcare if it’s a bank holiday. So they have to focus the staff who can work on the urgent and cancer stuff.

      Ultimately it’s the women who suffer as they are the ones who shoulder the burden of childcare

  37. grace says:

    Stop the madness!

  38. CC says:

    Real “Death of Sardanapulus” vibes.

  39. Ann says:

    I’m one of the people who would have to reschedule all those patients if this is something the cancer center I work for did. Thankfully we don’t because it would be insane to cancel cancer treatments due to any public figures death. We see patients on American holidays, major holidays at that like Christmas and Thanksgiving. We have to because certain people have very strict treatment plans that we have to accommodate or they die. Its that simple.

    Come on now, England. I will never “get” the significance of the BRF but pretty much everyone understands the significance of cancer, right?? This is F’ing stupid and insensitive on so many levels.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Thank you for your input & thank you for your work. I was so very grateful for ALL staff during my mother’s year+ treatment for multiple myeloma. People who work in the cancer ward are saints in the making.

    • PixiePaperdoll says:

      I answer phones after hours for clinics. One of them is for infusion and you know which days they’re open? ALL OF THEM. Your scheduled (or urgent infusion) can be on Easter and Labor Day and Thanksgiving and New Years Day. These closures are … el stupido.

  40. MrsTTempest says:

    Here in Australia, a public holiday has been declared for 22 September in memory of QEII and many elective surgeries scheduled for that day are being cancelled. Waiting times are already drawn out due to Covid and goodness knows how long patients will have to wait for their surgeries to be rescheduled.

  41. OAS says:

    Denying people medical care because a ceremonial head of state passed away is not the mark of a serious country. This is quite literally insane to me.

  42. ME says:

    That’s ridiculous. I saw a news report where a woman that works at a Food Bank in London was saying their donations are way down. She begged for people to stop spending money on flowers and instead buy some food and drop it off at a food bank. Those flowers aren’t helping anyone. It’s all insane.

  43. HeyKay says:

    I certainly do not agree to cancelling medical appointments or treatments.
    Healthcare is needed 24/7/365.

    The medical workers can watch everything on the news after it happens. You know, it’s part of history, it will be online.

  44. HeyKay says:

    ME says: I agree. All the money spent on those flowers would certainly have been better put to giving donations to food banks or charity organizations.
    Living people need help!
    Donations would have made a huge difference to so many charities!

    • kirk says:

      You would think that The Firm could have seen this coming and commenced immediately with Operation Unifork for food banks. Etcetera. You know, like sane people do with family funerals who ask for donations to preferred charities in lieu of flowers. But then I’m not royal, so what do I know about a life of service? Sorry to hear about healthcare workers stuck with no-good childcare.

  45. Bisynaptic says:

    These people are a threat to the populace.