Patients due for surgery must test and self-isolate before

Claire Gilbody-Dickerson

BBC News

Patients will have to take a swab and self-isolate prior to going in for surgery at Jersey's General Hospital.

As elective surgery starts again, patients will have to follow the Covid-19 safety guidance in order to keep both themselves and staff safe.

It entails going in for a test at the Overdale swabbing clinic five days prior to the operation and self-isolate regardless of the outcome, a statement said.

Members of the same household are not required to self-isolate but they must follow the latest public health guidance.

Medical Director Patrick Armstrong said: “We are pleased to be able to offer elective surgeries again for those patients who have been waiting for their appointments, but it is important we begin procedures with a high level of safety measures in place to reduce the risk of infection from COVID-19.

"It is vital patients follow these measures to protect themselves, hospital staff and families."

Surgery waiting list up to 1,400

BBC Radio Guernsey

Guernsey's waiting list for surgeries is now up to 1,400 as a result of delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

About 500 procedures that weren't able to be completed during the lockdown have been added to the list.

Guernsey's Medical Director, Dr Peter Rabey said returning to pre-crisis levels will "take many months, perhaps even years".

He said: "We were working pretty much to capacity to stay where we were before Covid happened.

"And we were working very efficiently, we were doing typically 140 planned cases a week plus the emergencies on top of that."

Hospital 'returning to something resembling normality'

Guernsey's Princess Elizabeth Hospital is returning to something resembling normality, the States medical director has revealed.

Dr Peter Rabey said there had been a big increase in "face-to-face" patient interactions and Emergency Department visits were up "which is good news".

"It means people are having confidence to come to the hospital when they need to," he added.

Addressing people's concerns over an expanded waiting list for treatment, Dr Rabey thanked islanders for "bearing with us" during a time where the "pressure has been enormous".

He announced they had doubled theatre capacity in phase four and had "plans to go higher" in the coming weeks.

However, since 1 March 1,400 patients have been added to waiting lists and about 1,000 patients have been seen, Dr Rabey confirmed.

The health service has been focusing on patients with a lower risk of getting critically ill if they caught coronavirus.

Dr Rabey said once the island enters phase five, this approach will change to prioritise the "very high risk patients who have been waiting a long time".

He explained the reason people are being asked to self-isolate for two weeks prior to their surgery is to "protect them", and minimise the chance they are carrying the virus when operated on.