Islanders could lose some of their rights to free health-care in the UK. Island health chiefs have admitted that free care in national health service hospitals hangs in the balance following the announcement that the UK department of health plans to pull out of the long-standing reciprocal health agreement.

The move could cost the island millions, and leave those visiting the UK having to pay large bills if they fall ill or are injured while there.

Most worrying of all, though, is the future of services such as cancer care in Southampton, access to treatments in Great Ormond Street Hospital for children, and other specialist centres.

Health care chief executive Mike Pollard said that the fate of such services was still not known, and he could only say that he was