Travel Health & Advice
COVID Travel Advice
For advice about travelling abroad, including the latest information on coronavirus, safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings, please visit the government website here
Travel Assessment Form
We offer a full travel advice and immunisation service. If you are travelling abroad please complete and submit the travel form in plenty of time (we recommend 6-8 weeks) before your journey.
Your form will then be assessed by one of our Practice Nurses who will look at your vaccination record and the requirements for your travel destination. You will then be contacted by the practice to arrange a 30 minute travel consultation, which depending on your destinations requirements may include travel vaccines.
Further Travel Information
The following websites will give you additional information and travel advice. It is advisable to research your destination before flying in order to be fully prepared!
Travel Health for information of vaccinations available on NHS
MASTA for private vaccination clinics
Gov.uk for specific country travel advice
EHIC to apply for your free European Health Insurance Card
Do you need vaccinations?
Our Nurses can provide comprehensive travel health advice and arrange for appropriate immunisations. Please arrange an appointment for a travel consultation at least 6-8 weeks before departure if possible. Vaccines need time to take effect and some may require a course over several weeks.
Select the region you are travelling to, to find out more.
The following travel vaccines are available for free for registered patients at Royal Primary Care:
These vaccines are free because they protect against diseases thought to represent the greatest risk to public health if they were brought into the country.
Other travel vaccines you may need could include:
- hepatitis B
- Japanese encephalitis
- meningitis vaccines
- tick-borne encephalitis
- tuberculosis (TB)
- yellow fever
- malaria prophylaxsis
These vaccinations can only be administered at designated private travel vaccination centres or local drugstore pharamacies such as Superdrug or Boots. For YellowFever vaccinations, you can use the following link to find your closest vaccination centre: https://nathnacyfzone.org.uk/search-centres
Travel Advice & Top Tips
Bite Prevention - Insect bites are relatively common in travellers, usually causing only minor irritation, but occasionally may cause more significant problems such as allergic reactions, secondary skin infections or transmission of infectious disease such as malaria, yellow fever, and Zika. You can take precautions to prevent bites from insects by ensuring you use an insect repellent that contains DEET. The higher the percentage of DEET the more protection you will get from the product. For more information and advice about bite prevention, please see here
Food & Water Hygiene - Contaminated food and water can transmit a number of different infectious diseases such as cholera, hepatitis A, travellers’ diarrhoea and typhoid. Travellers’ diarrhoea is particularly common in those visiting low-income countries but the risk can be reduced by following some simple hand hygene steps and trying to avoid higher risk food and drinks such as; ice cubes, salad or anything that may be washed in local water sources rather than bottled. For more information and advice about food and water hygiene, please see here
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) - Deep vein thrombosis can occur as a result of long periods of immobility associated with any form of travel. People who are; over 60, overweight, smokers, have had DVT before, take the contraceptive pill or HRT, have cancer or heart failure, are pregnanct or have varicose veins are more at risk of developing a DVT. But ultimately, any body travelling for long periods of time could be at risk which is why it's important to take precautions by wearing loose clothing, drinking plenty of water, avoiding alcohol, walking around when possible and undertaking flight exercises. For more information and advice about Deep Vein Thrombosis, please see here
Blood Borne Virus - Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV are the 3 main blood borne viruses (BBVs). They are transmitted through; exposure (of broken skin, mucous membranes or blood) to infected blood and body fluids, sex: oral, vaginal or anal. You can also be exposed to BBVs through medical treatment, particularly in countries with limited medical facilities or less strict infection control and hygiene practices. To reduce the risk of contracting a blood borne virus, travellers should;
- Avoid procedures such as ear piercing, tattooing, acupuncture, manicures and shaving with open razors unless you know the equipment being used has been adequately sterilised or is single use.
- If travelling for cosmetic, dental, medical or surgical procedures, research the clinic or hospital beforehand and ensure they use sterile, single use equipment and have a high standard of infection control.
- Practice safe sex during travel.
- Avoid using, reusing or sharing any recreational drug taking equipment.
For more information and advice about blood born virus, please see here
Sun Protection - Sun damages skin by ultraviolet (UV) radiation, with UVA and UVB rays posing the greatest risk for sun damage. Overexposure to sunlight is the underlying cause of damage to skin, eyes and the immune system. It's really important, especially when travelling to hot countries that you take precautions to enjoy the sun safely; limit your sun exposure, protect your skin with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 50 to protect against UVB and at least 4-star UVA protection. Apply SPF 20 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every 2 hours. For more information and advice about sun protection and safety, please see here
Tablets for fear of flying: Why we don’t prescribe them anymore
People sometimes ask the doctor or nurse to prescribe diazepam, or similar drugs like lorazepam temazepam or clonazepam, for fear of flying or to help sleep during flights. Prescribing these drugs is not recommended any more for these reasons:
- Although plane emergencies are rare, taking Diazepam reduces awareness and reaction times for patients so you risk not being able to react to save your life if you have to escape quickly. You may also put other people in danger by getting in their way or making them help you.
- The use of these drugs can make you sleep in an unnaturally deep sleep. This means you won’t move around as much as during natural sleep, so you have a bigger risk of getting a blood clot (Deep Vein Thrombosis - DVT) in the leg or lungs. Blood clots are very dangerous and can kill. This risk is bigger if your flight is longer than 4 hours.
- They have short term bad effects on memory, co-ordination, concentration and reaction times, and are addictive if used for a long time, with withdrawal leading to fits, hallucinations, agitation and confusion. They have also become widely used drugs of abuse since they first came on the market. Diazepam in the UK is a controlled drug. The prescribing guidelines doctors must follow say that that use to treat short-term ‘mild’ anxiety is inappropriate. They are only to be used short term for a ‘crisis in generalised anxiety’. But if you are having such a crisis you are not likely to be fit to fly. Fear of flying in isolation is not a generalised anxiety disorder.
- Some people get agitated and aggressive after taking diazepam and similar drugs, and behave in a way that they would not normally, which can pose a risk on the plane. This affects everyone’s safety and could get you into trouble with the law. A similar effect can be seen with alcohol, which has led to people being removed from flights.
- There is evidence use of these drugs stops the normal adjustment response that would gradually lessen anxiety over time, and may increase anxiety in the long term, especially if used repeatedly.
- Diazepam and similar controlled drugs are illegal in several countries. They may be confiscated, or you may find yourself in trouble with the police.
- Diazepam stays in your system for some time. If your job or sport needs you to have random drug testing you may fail this having taken diazepam.
- It is important to tell your travel insurer about your medical conditions and medications you take. If not, there is a risk of your insurer not paying if you try to make a claim.
So, we will no longer be providing Diazepam or similar drugs for flight anxiety.
We appreciate that fear of flying is very real and very frightening. A much better approach is to tackle this properly with an aviation industry recommended flight anxiety course. These courses are far more effective than diazepam, they have none of the undesirable effects and the positive effects of the courses continue after the courses have been completed.
- Easy Jet fearlessflyer.easyjet.com
- British Airways https://www.britishairways.com/engb/information/travelassistance/flying-with-confidence
- Virgin Atlantic https://www.flyingwithoutfear.co.uk/
- Fly And Be Calm™ is an instant download and comes with a money back guarantee (Guarantee does not apply to app versions).6 MP3 tracks which include instructions, the fear removal tool and two hypnotic tracks. https://flyandbecalm.co.uk/