COMMERCIAL: The health authorities of Guernsey and Alderney are moving roughly £1.3m of specialist treatment from a London teaching hospital to a trust on the south coast.

The two channel islands will shift specialist cardiac diagnostic services and treatment from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust to Southampton University Hospital Trust from October.

The NHS ended a reciprocal healthcare arrangement with the Channel Islands in 2009 and the islands will pay the trust using the same mechanism as that used by individual private patients.

The islands’ joint health and social services department said it was expecting a “significant” saving from the move and that Southampton’s costs were roughly 40 per cent lower than Guy’s - which sees an average of 215 of their heart patients each year.

A spokesman said: “It is a very strenuous journey for many patients to go to London and we found a much more favourable response from patients travelling to Southampton.

“We therefore undertook an assessment of the quality of service that Southampton could provide and at what cost.”

He said the review considered waiting times, infection control and outcomes, “all of which placed Southampton in a very favourable position” and that the south coast trust’s financial offer was “very favourable”.

Southampton would not confirm whether the private contract would be carried out at NHS tariff, or if Guernsey had negotiated a lower price for the procedures.

The £506m-turnover trust already treats other patients from the Channel Islands and plans to do £6.9m-worth of business with them during 2011-12 while generating a further £4.5m in non-NHS clinical income.