St George’s Medical Centre

01353 864100

Travelling Abroad – Are you Protected?

If you are travelling abroad you should visit the practice nurse to find out which vaccinations you need. Ideally this should be at least three months before you travel. Do not leave it until the week before you go, as many vaccinations need to be given a few weeks before travelling to ensure their full effectiveness.

You will need to complete a Travel Risk Assessment form. You can get a copy of the form from the surgery or click here to complete a form online. Return the completed form to the surgery and make a twenty minute appointment to see the one of the Practice Nurses.

If you are booking online, our health care assistants Karen and Wendy, and our phlebotomist Tina cannot give travel vaccinations – only our Practice Nurses can do this. Sister Ursl Robson is our lead nurse for travel vaccinations.

For information about which vaccinations you may require and travel health advice visit the FIT FOR TRAVEL website.

Your Practice Nurse will tell you which vaccinations you need to get before travelling.  Some of these vaccinations will be available on the NHS but others are not. In this case, your doctor will issue a private prescription for these vaccinations. A private prescription will usually be more expensive than a normal prescription charge.

GPs can give the following vaccinations on the NHS:

  • Diphtheria
  • Hepatitis A
  • Polio
  • Tetanus
  • Typhoid

GPs cannot give the following vaccinations on the NHS:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • Meningococcal
  • Rabies
  • Tick Born Encephalitis
  • Yellow Fever

We do not keep all vaccines in stock.  Some vaccines can be ordered for you to have in the surgery.  Other vaccines are only given at Travel Clinics.  The nurse will be able to advise you further.

Protection against Malaria

If you are travelling to an area where you need to take medication against malaria, this must also be written on a private prescription.  Some anti-malarial medications can be bought from your pharmacist without a prescription.  The nurse will advise you about the most appropriate preventative treatment for the country you are visiting. Click here to find the Malaria Hotspots!

Patients on long term medication

If you have an illness that means you regularly need to take medication, please ensure that you have enough with you to last for your whole holiday.  If you are travelling for more than three months, you should find a doctor who can continue your care in the country that you are visiting.

Medication for travel abroad or travel kits

If you want to take medicines abroad that you do not normally take to use in case you become ill e.g. antibiotics discuss this with your GP.  It may be possible to issue a private prescription for these medicines.

General travel health

If you have any doubts about the quality of tap water, ensure that you drink, wash and clean your teeth using bottled water or water that has been boiled or sterilised.  Where possible, eat fresh food that has been thoroughly cooked.  Shellfish should never be eaten raw, and avoid salads and fruits that you have not peeled or washed yourself.

If you do get acute diarrhoea drink lots of fluids to avoid dehydration.  You may wish to bring hydration drinks with you on holiday and you can buy these sachets from you pharmacy and add them to water.  You should eat as soon as you can.  Anti-diarrhoea medicines can also be taken to relieve symptoms of acute diarrhoea and these can also be brought at your pharmacy.

Be sensible with alcohol when abroad and avoid dehydration in hot climates by drinking as much water as possible.

Avoid over exposure to the sun, which is strongest between 11am and 3pm.

Use insect repellent to avoid insect bites. Apply repellent on top of sun block when both are being used.

Travelling in Europe

If you are visiting the European Economic Area (EEA) then you are strongly advised to take a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you, otherwise you may be charged for your healthcare.   Click here to apply or renew your EHIC.

If you are travelling to Europe a very useful booklet has been published with advice and guidance to help you get the most out of your holiday. To visit please click here (this is a large document and may take a minute or two to view)