The Times’ view on NHS cancellation and the Queen’s Funeral: DAUK’s Response

On September 15, 2022, The Times published a piece titled “The Times view on the Queen’s funeral and the NHS: Cancel Culture”, which claimed, “The occasion ought not to be cause for the health service to deny patients care.” 

Our GP lead Dr Lizzie Toberty has written a response to this article, which is published in The Times. The full letter is below: 

Sir, Your leading article on NHS cancellations on Monday, for the Queen’s funeral (Sep 15), raises the issue of how to balance the need to respect Her Majesty with the needs of our patients. Once again our leaders are trying to shift the blame to individual employers, rather than providing conditions, extra funding and practical advice on how services, hospitals or GP practices could stay open. Many GPs would have happily worked but without childcare and administrative support it is practically impossible for the majority.

GPs are once again shouldering criticism for actions from our government, which has effectively been on recess since the start of July. Did our new government need to close parliament for a full two weeks?

All of the public sector suffered throughout Covid, yet teachers are not being press-ganged into working on Monday to address the educational backlog. The constant denigration of general practice has consequences and needs to stop.
Dr Elizabeth Toberty
GP lead, Doctors’ Association UK