Some vaccines are available on the NHS and if you are travelling abroad you will need to start thinking about vaccinations at least 4-6 weeks before you are due to travel. There are some destinations with requirements for multiple vaccinations so you may need to seek advice 2-3 months prior to travel to ensure you can complete the vaccinations in time.
Up to date travel information
Before travelling abroad, it is important to be aware of the possible health risks and how to prevent problems, or minimise the chances of them occurring. Most importantly you should know:
- Whether there are any specific health risks in the country you are travelling to for which you need to take precautions, for example, malaria
- How to avoid becoming ill when you are abroad
- What to do if you become ill abroad
- How to get emergency medical treatment when you are abroad
Getting your travel vaccinations
Step 1 Obtain a free Masta vaccine check via www.masta-travel-health.com
This is a quality medical travel guide containing a personal travel schedule for every country on your trip. It will advise about recommended vaccinations, give alerts and warnings for each country including any disease outbreaks, and provide tailored advice for your trip. Make sure you print a copy of your travel information from the website.
Step 2 Decide on your vaccines
The Masta vaccine checker will tell you which vaccinations are mandatory, which ones are strongly recommended, and which ones you may choose to consider. It is up to you to decide which vaccinations you would like to have. If you have had travel vaccines at Coxhoe we will be able to give you the dates that they were administered. We do not hold information on vaccines given elsewhere.
Step 3 Plan your vaccination schedule
Free NHS vaccinations which Coxhoe can provide are Diphtheria, Cholera, Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid and Hepatitis A. You must make an appointment with the Practice Nurse and bring a copy of the Masta vaccine checker information: without this information, our Practice Nurse will not be able to provide you with your free NHS vaccinations.
Please note that NHS vaccines less than 4 weeks prior to travel are subject to availability of nurse appointments.
If the Masta vaccine checker recommends other vaccinations that Coxhoe do not provide you can obtain them from one of the nearest travel clinics listed below (please note other travel clinics are available elsewhere):-
- Masta Travel Clinic, Bowburn Pharmacy, 2 Ash Terrace Bowburn, DH6 5AS Telephone: 0300 1004200
- Boots Pharmacy Travel Clinic, 2-5 Market Place, Durham, DH1 3NB Telephone: 0191 3842213
- Superdrug Travel Clinic, 46-50 Northumberland Street, Newcastle, NE1 7DF Telephone: 0333 1228212
Step 4 Antimalarial Medicines
You need to decide whether you need to take antimalarial medicine. The Masta vaccine checker will tell you what type of antimalarial medicine you will need. If you are recommended to take Doxycycline, Malarone or Mefloquine these are available from a private travel clinic (details above).
Antimalarial medicines are available without prescription from pharmacies; contact your local pharmacy to discuss further.
You can also complete the online Travel form and send this to us (this must be submitted at least 6 weeks prior to travel).
Advice on Medicines and Vaccines for Patients Travelling Outside the UK
Under NHS legislation, the NHS ceases to have responsibility for people when they leave the UK. GP’s are not required to provide prescriptions for the treatment of a condition that may arise while the patient is abroad.
- Sun cream/lotions
- Pain relief
- AntidiarrhoealsTravel sickness medicines
For Prescription Only Medicines (POM), patients may be offered and charged for a private prescription e.g. Ciprofloxacin for traveller’s diarrhoea. The GMS contract allows items for travel to be prescribed by GPs for patients on their NHS list.
Drugs for malaria prophylaxis are not prescribed on the NHS
- Patients should be advised to purchase where possible over the counter medications
- For prescription only medicines (eg. Doxycycline, Lariam®, Malarone® and Maloprim®), GPs may charge for and issue a private prescription.
All other travel vaccinations are not available on the NHS and must therefore must be offered to patients via a private prescription;
- Meningitis ACWY
- Tick Borne Encephalitis
- Japanese Encephalitis
- Yellow Fever Vaccine
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.
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.
Planning on having private treatment/surgery in the UK or abroad?
Please be aware that the whole episode of the treatment should be provided by the private provider, i.e. blood tests and other tests, suture removal, dressing changes, routine wound check, prescribing during your episode of private treatment, etc., and the Practice should not be involved in any aspects of this episode of treatment, with the exception of emergency care relating to the treatment.
It is also the private providers responsibility to issue a Fit Note covering the entire anticipated period off work, but if any longer time off is then required when you are no longer under the care of the provider then this would be the practice responsibility.