The most important thing to bear in mind about travel vaccinations is the importance of forward planning. The advice on NHS Choices is that you should contact your GP at least eight weeks before your travel date. We can usually accommodate patients if we have your completed travel questionnaires within five weeks of your travel date.
More background information on travel health can be found on-line at http://www.fitfortravel.co.uk
If you require travel vaccinations, please request a travel advice questionnaire through PATCHS. An administrator will send you an online form to complete. One of our practice nurses will then check the form and we will be in touch to tell you if you require vaccinations and to book an appointment if necessary.
NHS Travel Vaccinations
Under their contract with NHS England the Partners at Ainsdale Medical Centre are required to offer vaccinations to our listed patients, at no charge, as follows:
- Hepatitis A [infectious hepatitis] - first and second/booster doses
- Combined hepatitis A and B - two doses with a third for over 16s
- Typhoid - first and second/booster doses
- Combined hepatitis A and typhoid - first and second/booster doses)
- Tetanus, diphtheria and polio as given in the combined Td/IPV vaccine.
- Cholera – (tablet) if visiting specific high risk country/area
Please note that Hepatitis B vaccination for occupational health purposes is not provided free of charge on the NHS and we don’t provide it privately to patients. We don’t provide any other travel vaccinations privately.
We follow the Royal College of Nursing competency framework for travel health medicine. This stipulates a pre-travel risk assessment which includes such things as destination, duration and type of trip, previous medical history and immunisation status. We have to allocate an appropriate amount of time for the nurse to prepare this assessment before any appointment.
Our Receptionists are not trained to offer any advice to patients on whether vaccinations are required for a particular destination. We are unable to allocate any nursing time to a pre-travel risk assessment until we have received your completed and signed travel questionnaire forms. Our travel health forms are available in downloadable form on our website or from Reception.
The advice on NHS Choices is that you should contact your GP at least eight weeks before your travel date to allow enough time ensure the best protection from the very beginning of your trip. Some vaccinations need to be given well in advance to allow your body time to develop immunity. Some also involve multiple doses spread over several weeks.
We will usually try to be flexible and accommodate patients contacting us up to five weeks before their travel date but this is often constrained by a lack of appropriate appointments at such short notice.
We have three nurses who conduct travel vaccination appointments across the working week. Initially this will be a telephone consultation with one of the practice nurses who will telephone you on a pre-arranged day to discuss your vaccinations. The nurse will book you an appointment to have any required vaccinations during this phone call. We release new appointments with our nurses approximately four weeks ahead but these get booked up soon after they are released and it is usually quite difficult to book appointments in the next one – two weeks.
As people frequently travel as part of a family group we often have to find multiple appointments which places further constraints on our ability to schedule timely treatment.
If your travel date is less than 5 weeks away and we can’t provide suitable appointments there are private travel clinics in the Southport area but these do, of course, charge a fee.