SNP - Tom Wills

Health / New service for travel vaccinations

NHS SHETLAND has launched a new travel health service which will see the introduction of dedicated clinic.

The single service will cover patients registered with any of the NHS Shetland provided GP practices.

It will offer help for people who require travel health assessment, advice and immunisation before they head abroad.

Individuals accessing the service will be charged a fee for assessment, and possibly for subsequent vaccinations, as travel health is not part of the core NHS service and is private.

Some vaccines, however, are available free of charge and individuals will be made aware of this at the time of assessment.

Chief nurse Edna Mary Watson said: “In other areas of Scotland, individuals who require a travel health service can access this through a range of providers such as travel clinics and large pharmacies, but we don’t have these in Shetland.

“To ensure that individuals can access the necessary advice and any recommended vaccinations before travelling abroad, NHS Shetland has set up this dedicated clinic.

“The development of this service is in line with a much bigger piece of work being undertaken as part of the national Vaccination Transformation Programme.”

Anyone wishing to access the travel service should download and complete a travel health pre-assessment form from the NHS Shetland website.

Completed forms should either be emailed to shet-hb.travelclinic@nhs.net or handed in to one of the NHS Shetland run practices. Paper copies of the form will also be available from the GP practices.

Once a completed pre-assessment form is received, a member of the team will be in contact to organise a full travel health assessment, and then plan any vaccinations etc that may be required.

NHS Shetland said that individuals will be seen on a prioritised basis, so it is important that contact with the service is made as soon as possible after booking a trip that involves foreign travel – ideally 12 weeks before the date of travel.

Hillswick Health Centre continues to be the yellow fever centre for anyone in Shetland, regardless of their GP practice.

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