If you require any vaccinations relating to foreign travel you need to make an appointment with the practice nurse to discuss your travel arrangements. This will include which countries and areas within countries that you are visiting to determine what vaccinations are required.
There is further information about countries and vaccinations required on the links below
It is important to make this initial appointment as early as possible - at least 6 weeks before you travel - as a second appointment will be required with the practice nurse to actually receive the vaccinations. These vaccines have to be ordered as they are not a stock vaccine. Your second appointment needs to be at least 2 weeks before you travel to allow the vaccines to work.
Some travel vaccines are ordered on a private prescription and these incur a charge over and above the normal prescription charge. This is because not all travel vaccinations are included in the services provided by the NHS.
Overseas Travel Guidance For Patients
Question: Can I go to my GP for travel advice?
Answer: Yes, you can obtain travel advice from your GP which may include advice on immunisations and malaria prophylaxis. You can also get travel advice from a community pharmacist.
Question: Can I get medication for malaria prophylaxis on the NHS?
Answer: Medication for malaria prophylaxis is not available on the NHS. It can either be purchased from a community pharmacy or issued on a private prescription depending on the medication required.
Medication that may be needed when travelling:
Question: Can I get medication from the GP for use just in case I become ill abroad like rehydration sachets and antibiotics?
Answer: No, these items are not provided on the NHS and can either be obtained from a community pharmacy or on a private prescription.
Vaccines for the purpose of travel:
Question: Which travel vaccines can I get on the NHS?
Answer: You can obtain the following vaccines on the NHS:
- Diphtheria, polio and tetanus (combined booster)
- Hepatitis A (whether you can receive the combined Hepatitis A and B vaccine on the NHS will depend on whether specific criteria are met and this will be assessed by a healthcare professional at the GP surgery)
- Cholera (whether you can receive this vaccine on the NHS will depend on whether specific criteria are met and this will be assess by a healthcare professional at the GP surgery)
Prescribing of medication for existing long term conditions:
Question: What quantity of my regular medications can I get for travel abroad?
Answer: If you are travelling abroad for up to 3 months then the GP may supply you with medication to cover this period of time. If you are travelling abroad for more than 3 months then the GP may supply you with a sufficient quantity to get to your destination and find an alternative supply of medication.
Question: Do different countries have different rules about carry medications?
Answer: Yes, different countries have different rules and regulations regarding maximum quantity and type of medication that can be taken into a country. The rules for all countries being visited and travelled through should be checked with the individual embassies.
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC):
Question: Do I need a European Heath Insurance Card and how do I get one?
Answer: If you are travelling in Europe then you are advised to carry this card at all time as it allows you access to State provided healthcare in the European Economic Area (EEA) at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. Specific entitlements should be checked prior to travel. The EHIC can be applied for online.
Taking syringes and needles on flights:
Question: Can I take syringes and needle on flights?
Answer: Yes, as long as a letter is obtained from the GP to allow these items to be carried in the hand luggage. Items should be in the original correctly labelled packaging and a copy of the prescription should be carried in the hand luggage. The individual airline(s) should be contacted to check the exact requirements.
Taking controlled drugs (CD) abroad:
Question: Can I take controlled drugs abroad?
Answer: A letter issued by the prescribing doctor or drug worker should be carried with these medications. Controlled drugs need to be carried in hand luggage in the original correctly labelled packaging. A valid personal import/export license may also be needed. The individual airline will need to be contacted to check exact requirements.
Question: How do I know if I need a personal import/export license?
Answer: You will need a license if you are travelling for 3 calendar months or more and carrying more than 3 month supply of medication. The application form is available online from the Home Office and they can be contacted to find out specific requirements for medications. The application needs to be accompanied by a letter from the prescribing doctor or drug worker and submitted at least 10 working days in advance of the date of travel.
Question: Do other countries have their own import regulations for controlled drugs and prescription medicines?
Answer: Yes, this may be the case and the Embassy/Consulate/High Commission of the country of destination or any country travelled through should be contacted to find out.
Prevention of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) during long distance travel:
Question: Am I at increased risk of a DVT?
Answer: You can consult your GP for travel advice including DVT risk assessment.
Question: Can I get compression stockings on the NHS?
Answer: Compression stockings should not be issued on the NHS for the sole indication of preventing travel related DVT and are available on the NHS only for certain indications.
Sources of information:
Question: Where can I look if I require more information?
Answer: Useful websites include:
NHS Choices http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Travel-immunisation/Pages/Introduction.aspx
Fit for Travel http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/home.aspx
Department of Heath https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Travelling in Europe
If you are travelling to Europe the EU has published useful information for travellers on the European website.