When travelling abroad you need to check if vaccinations are required. Information for all destinations can be found at: Travel Health Pro.
You can find more information about travel vaccines at NHS Travel Vaccinations.
Once you know which vaccinations are recommended check your previous vaccination history using the NHS App or ask for a copy from the surgery.
Travel itineraries are individual and can be complex, especially if you have any medical conditions, are on regular medication or are travelling to multiple destinations and/or will be away for more than 3 weeks. You should arrange a comprehensive travel risk assessment with a Specialist Travel Health Clinic for expert advice.
The following table shows which vaccinations are given free-of-charge at the surgery and how often boosters are recommended. Please seek confirmation from our Immunisation Nurse before booking an appointment if you are uncertain:
|Vaccination For:||Frequency of Revaccination:|
|Tetanus/Diphtheria/Polio (combined vaccine)||10 years|
|Hepatitis A||2nd dose after 6 months then 25 years|
|Cholera||between 6 months to 2 years|
All other vaccinations for travel (e.g. Yellow Fever, Hepatitis B, Rabies, Meningitis) are chargeable and will need to be obtained from a Specialist Travel Health Clinic.
If your departure date is at least 4 weeks away and you require the free vaccines, you can book an appointment with our Immunisation Nurse at the surgery. We are unable to offer appointments for Travel Vaccines at shorter notice than this and you will need to book with a Specialist Travel Health Clinic.
When you attend the surgery for travel vaccines, we will also offer any UK Scheduled vaccines which you are eligible for but may have missed. These are offered to different age-groups and include:
If your destination is in a Malarial risk area and medication is recommended you can purchase this from local malarial pharmacy services, online pharmacies or Specialist Travel Health Clinics. We are unable to provide prescriptions for anti-malarial medication.
Prescriptions for Travel-Related Medications
If you require medication to help with anxiety/fear of flying, “just in case” antibiotics or high altitude conditions etc, you need to consult a Specialist Travel Health Service or private GP.
Always check the latest UK Government travel advice at Travel and Covid Gov.uk.
It is your responsibility to ensure you are up-to-date with vaccinations and are aware of other travel health risks, especially when booking last-minute holidays, for volunteer work or if your employment requires it. In the latter case your employer should provide access to an Occupational Health Service.
Please use these links for useful general travel advice:
When considering travel abroad you need to check if vaccinations are required. Information for all destinations can be found at www.travelhealthpro.org.uk.
Once you know which vaccinations you require, please check your previous vaccination history using the NHS App or you can ask for a copy from the surgery.
Healthy Travel Leaflet
You may find the following leaflet helpful when making your travel arrangements.
Please download and print our useful guide below about Mosquito advice.
Immunisation against infectious Hepatitis (Hepatitis A) is available free of charge on the NHS in connection with travel abroad. However Hepatitis B is not routinely available free of charge and therefore you may be charged for this vaccination when requested in connection with travel abroad.
Medications for Fear of Flying: Why we are not prescribing them
eople often come to us requesting the doctor or nurse to prescribe medication such as Diazepam (or similar drugs) for fear of flying or assist with sleep during flights. Diazepam is a sedative, which means it makes you sleepy and more relaxed. There are a number of very good reasons why prescribing this drug is not recommended.
- According to the prescribing guidelines doctors follow (British National Formulary) diazepam is contraindicated (not allowed) in treating phobic states.[i] It also states that “the use of benzodiazepines to treat short-term ‘mild’ anxiety is inappropriate.”[ii] Your doctor would be taking a significant legal risk by prescribing against these guidelines.
- NICE guidelines suggest that medication should not be used for mild and self-limiting mental health disorders[iii]. In more significant anxiety related states, benzodiazepines, sedating antihistamines or antipsychotics should not be Benzodiazepines are only advised for the short term use for a crisis in generalised anxiety disorder in which case a person would not be fit to fly. Fear of flying in isolation is not a generalised anxiety disorder.
- Although plane emergencies are a rare occurrence, there are concerns about reduced awareness and reaction times for patients taking This may pose a significant risk of not being able to react in a manner which could save their life in the event of an emergency on board necessitating evacuation.
- The use of such sedative drugs can make you fall asleep, however when you do sleep it is an unnatural non-REM This means you won’t move around as much as during natural sleep. This can cause you to be at an increased risk of developing a blood clot (Deep Vein Thrombosis – DVT) in the leg or even the lungs. Blood clots are very dangerous and can even prove fatal. This risk is even greater if your flight is greater than 4 hours, the amount of time which has been shown to increase the risk of developing DVT whether in an aeroplane or elsewhere.
- Whilst most people find Diazepam sedating, a small number have paradoxical agitation and aggression. They can also cause disinhibition and lead you to behave in a way that you would not normally which can pose a risk on the This could impact on your safety as well as that of other passengers and could also get you into trouble with the law. A similar effect can be seen with alcohol, which has led to people being removed from flights.
- A study published in 1997 from the Stanford University School of Medicine[iv] showed that there is evidence use of Benzodiazepines stops the normal adjustment response that would gradually lessen anxiety over time and therefore perpetuates and may increase anxiety in the long term, especially if used repeatedly.
- Diazepam and similar controlled drugs are illegal in a number of countries[v]. They may be confiscated or you may find yourself in trouble with the The passenger may also need to use a different strategy for the homeward bound journey and/or other legs of the journey.
- Diazepam stays in your system for quite a If your job requires you to submit to random drug testing you may fail this having taken diazepam.
- It is important to declare all medical conditions and medications you take to your travel insurer. If not, there is a risk of nullifying any insurance policy you may have.
Given the overleaf information, we are no longer providing prescriptions for Diazepam or similar drugs for flight anxiety and instead suggest the below aviation industry recommended flight anxiety courses.
Flight anxiety does not come under the remit of General Medical Services, as defined in the GP contract, so we are not obliged to prescribe for this. Patients who still wish to take benzodiazepines for flight anxiety are advised to consult with a private GP or travel clinic
[iii]. Generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder in adults: management. NICE Clinical guideline [CG113] Published date: January 2011 Last updated: July 2019
[iv]. Acute and delayed effects of Alprazolam on flight phobias during exposure. Behav Res 1997 Sep;35(9):831- 41
[v]. Travel Health Pro; Medicines and Travel; Carrying medication abroad and advice regarding falsified medication
Private Travel Clinics
If you are unable to wait for our next available travel advice appointment, as advised by the reception staff, then you can attend any Private Travel Clinic—charges will apply at these clinics.
Excess quantities of regular repeat prescriptions
Under NHS legislation, the NHS ceases to have responsibility for people when they leave the United Kingdom. However, to ensure good patient care the following guidance is offered. People travelling to Europe should be advised to apply for a Global Health Insurance Card.
Medication required for a pre-existing condition should be provided in sufficient quantity to cover the journey and to allow the patient to obtain medical attention abroad. If the patient is returning within the timescale of their usual prescription, then this should be issued (the maximum duration of a prescription is recommended by the Care Trust to be two months, although it is recognised that prescription quantities are sometimes greater than this). Patients are entitled to carry prescribed medicines, even if originally classed as controlled drugs, for example, morphine sulphate tablets.
For longer visits abroad, the patient should be advised to register with a local doctor for continuing medication (this may need to be paid for by the patient).
General practitioners are not responsible for prescriptions of items required for conditions which may arise while travelling, for example travel sickness or diarrhoea. Patients should be advised to purchase these items from community pharmacies prior to travel.