Covid19 pandemic and travel
General Advice for Travel Abroad
Wanting to go on a great holiday of a lifetime to a far flung corner of the world? Do you need to check though whether it is safe for you fly by plane first if you or your loved one suffers with a serious health problem.
Am I Fit To Fly?
by the Civil Aviation Authority. Includes great FAQs for patients and specific advice for patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, haematological disorders, pregnancy, psychiatric conditions, respiratory disease and surgical conditions too.
Sorted the tickets out, hotels and entertainment? But do you need to know what vaccines you need and whether you will need malaria prophylaxis or not?
Here are a couple of websites that our nurses use to get the latest most up-to-date and reliable information for patients. Why don't you save time and look here yourself too?
What vaccinations do you need before you travel (ideally should be 6 weeks before you fly out) ?
Where can you get your travel vaccines from?
is able to provide vaccinations for Hajj and Umrah
Our practice nurses can provide NHS Vaccinations only including Diphtheria, Polio and Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Typhoid and Cholera. Please contact the surgery to complete a form.
Information on how to stay safe and healthy whilst abroad
Want to delay Your Period for your Holiday ?
How can I delay my period? You can get pills to delay your period by going online to Boots
, Lloyds Pharmacy
and others. Please note this is only available online - you cannot walk into a store to get these. Please make sure you go to a reputable online pharmacy that is regulated by the Care Quality Commission. We no longer prescribe pills for delaying periods as you can buy them safely online.
We do not prescribe Diazepam or other tranquilisers for people that have a fear for flying
In Britain an estimated nine million people suffer anxiety about flying. There is no single personality type, prone to fear of flying it may develop following a bad experience such as a rough flight, or after a news report of a high jack or a crash. Panic attacks are common, the sensation is often so frightening that the sufferer may refuse to fly in the future. Fear of flying is often underpinned by a fear of losing control but fear of turbulence, terrorism, feeling trapped, claustrophobia or fear of heights can all be contributing or causative factors.
Following an extensive review of the safety of prescribing diazepam (a type of benzodiazepine) or other tranquilisers for people who have a fear of flying we at Haughton Thornley Medical Centres have decided it is no longer safe to prescribe such tablets for this purpose (unless you are takign them for other reasons already).
- The use of any sort of central nervous system (CNS) depressant during a flight will put the passenger at significant risk of not being able to act in a manor which could save their life in the event of a safety critical scenario (& there will be no-one else to do it for them - cabin crew are there to guide them & not do it for them);
- The use of any sort of CNS depressant has the potential to increase the risk of a DVT - these drugs can induce non-REM sleep which tends to be of a type where the person does not move in their sleep, and therefore increases the possibility of sitting without moving for more than 4 hrs (the amount of time which has been shown to increase the risk of developing DVT whether in an aeroplane or elsewhere);
- A paradoxical increase in aggression may be reported by patients taking benzodiazepines & therefore has potential to put other occupants of the aircraft at risk; benzodiazepines are not to be prescribed in phobic states
- For some countries it is illegal to import these drugs and so the passenger will need to use a different strategy for the homeward bound journey and / or any subsequent legs of the journey;
- NICE guidelines suggest that medication should not be used for mild & self limiting mental health disorders; in more significant anxiety related states - benzodiazepines, sedating antihistamines or antipsychotics should not be prescribed
What can patients do who have a fear of flying that is safe?
Fear of flying is common despite flying being safer than road or rail travel in most developed countries.
A visit to the doctor prior to travel can provide reassurance about general fitness for air travel.
Try distraction by talking with other passengers, watching a film, listening to music or reading.
Tell the cabin crew. Reassurance about routine aircraft sounds and in flight activities can help.
- There are courses available (including FREE courses) for those who have a fear of flying
- BBC: How to beat the fear of flying
- 8 steps to overcome your fear of flying
- Anxiety UK: Fear of flying
- See our advice for people with anxiety and depression for other sources of self help you can try
- Consider self-referral for counselling to help overcome your fears and anxiety (but note there is at least a 3 month waiting time for this and treatmenbt can last 6 weeks from when it starts)
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy does work. Recent research has indicated that cognitive behaviour therapy can be helpful for more severe cases. The person identifies what they actually fear and then learns different ways of overcoming it. Moodgym is an online CBT course that you can start immediately if you cannot wait for face to fac e counselling.
- Talk to your GP to see what simple measures we may be able to offer if the above do not work which are usually not related to medications
Here is a Malaria Prevention Consultation with an actual practice nurse to show you some of the issues you may wish to consider when considering malaria prophylaxis - remember ABCD!
Do not forget to get access to your GP electronic health records
and that of your family too before you go so that you can check when you last had your immunisations and also so that if you fall ill whilst abroad you can access your record and share it with the doctor or nurse there!
Remember you can only access your records - they cannot be changed but you must look after your passwords and pin numbers so that nobody else gets them. Many patients have already benefited from access to their records whilst abroad and you can too! Click on the link below to find out more