Our Practice Nurses provide an immunisation and advice service for those travelling overseas. This service aims to make sure that you have up-to-date immunisation and advice on medication necessary to prevent Malaria. Some important points to remember:
You need to start planning your medical arrangements for travel as soon as possible. Immunisations are usually given at least 4 weeks prior to travel, and anti-malarial tablets (depending on which medication) are started 2-16 days before entering malaria-risk areas. If you ask for immunisations less than 4 weeks prior to travel, we may be able to arrange this at short notice but the vaccines are likely to be less effective.
Most illnesses which people get on holiday are not prevented by immunisations. Drinking safe water, avoiding over exposure to the sun and insect bites are all important in maintaining good health when abroad.
Make sure you have your European Health Insurance Card if travelling in Europe, and adequate Medical Insurance wherever you go.
If you have any significant medical problems, make sure your insurers know before you travel.
If you need a “fit to travel” certificate, or any kind of claim or cancellation form completed you will need to see a GP, and there will be a charge.
Flights, or journeys by road longer than 4 hours, may increase your risk of developing a blood clot in your legs (known as a DVT or Deep Venous Thrombosis).
This is especially true if you are pregnant, on the contraceptive pill or HRT, have cancer, have had recent surgery, or have had DVTs or Pulmonary Embolism in the past.
To reduce the risk, drink plenty of fluids, avoid alcohol and get up and stretch your legs. Consider getting support (“compression”) stockings over-the-counter from a chemist. Whether aspirin prevents flight-related DVTs is not clear. If you have had a previous blood clot, and are not taking Warfarin, please discuss this with your GP.
If you become ill whilst you are away, especially with a fever, do not delay and seek medical help locally. The local Doctors will be far more expert at treating local health problems than we are, and delay in treating some illnesses, especially Malaria and DVT’s, can be fatal.
Anti-Malaria Tablets. These, along with insect bite avoidance, are vitally important in Malaria-risk areas. There are four different types and the nurse will select the appropriate medication depending on where you are travelling. If you are a child, or pregnant or breast-feeding, this may affect the drug recommended. Finish the full course of tablets (take for 4 weeks after leaving the malaria-risk area, or one week for Malarone). Insecticide-treated anti-mosquito nets may be useful.
Some Travel Vaccinations and all tablets to prevent Malaria are not covered by the NHS.
The surgery is an approved Yellow Fever Centre. Anyone coming for a Yellow Fever vaccinaton should bring their passport with them.
Before making an appointment to see the nurse to discuss your travel arrangements please complete our Travel Questionnaire (linked belowor ask at the surgery for a travel form. The form also reinforces some of the information given above as well as giving prices for services that are not covered by the NHS for example anti-malarials and some immunisations.
The website we use for travel information is the National Travel Health Network and Centre this is an excellent web site for travel, vaccination and malaria information click below to access the site.