Channel Island patients due to have treatment at Southampton hospital may be asked to self isolate for 14 days before attending, even if they have no Covid-19 symptoms.

New NHS England guidelines have been issued to hospital trusts for re-starting elective care.

Those awaiting care will also have to take a Covid-19 test within the 72 hours prior to their treatment in order to be allowed to enter the hospital.

This would mean at least a month of social isolation for Channel Island patients with two weeks prior to treatment and two weeks on their return.

Les Bischard had a heart attack in April and needs to return to Southampton for surgery. Credit: ITV Channel

But with only one active case in Guernsey and 27 in Jersey, some patients are questioning how useful it is to self isolate before leaving the island.

Les Bischard had to be air lifted from Guernsey to Southampton Hospital after having a heart attack on the 21 April.

He was fitted with a temporary stent but was told he needed to return for an MRI scan and most likely a triple-heart bypass the following month.

The 60-year-old says with Guernsey's minimal cases, self-isolation is not appropriate.

I can self isolate here for two weeks, but I am going to go back on the plane with lots of people who may not have and to be honest they're going to have to test me when I get back to the UK anyway.

Les Bischard
NHS England has issued guidance asking for all non-emergency patients too self isolate two weeks before they attend hospital. Credit: ITV Meridian

The States of Guernsey say they are currently clarifying the rules with Southampton hospital and are supporting the hospital's requests for coronavirus tests results.

HSC has not received formal confirmation from University Hospital Southampton that Bailiwick patients are required to self-isolate prior to their treatment. However, we are aware that some Bailiwick patients may have been contacted directly by University Hospital Southampton. HSC have been asked to provide a Covid-19 swab test for all elective admissions 48 hours prior to their appointment. This is being supported through our current testing programme with the results sent electronically to University Hospital Southampton. Any emergency patients are also tested for Covid-19 prior to their transfer to the UK using our rapid testing protocol where the results are available within one hour.

Spokesperson for Guernsey Health and Social Care

The States of Jersey has also confirmed it is in regular talks with Southampton Hospital.

We are in frequent contact with the NHS about any changes in circumstance regarding patient transfer and care. We are continually reviewing the situation and any changes will be communicated to patients and announced proactively by Government.

Jersey Government Spokesperson