Information on how to stay safe and healthy abroad
Fitfortravel is a free public access website providing up to date health information for the UK public on avoiding illness and staying healthy when travelling abroad.
Our Nursing Team offer travel advice and can assess your need for vaccination and antimalarial prophylaxis prior to travel.
Some vaccinations can be offered at the surgery. If we are unable to give what is recommended here, our Nursing Team will signpost you to where you can obtain what is required.
Travelling in Europe
Your rights & EU rules
If you are travelling to Europe the EU has published useful information for travellers on the European website.
As an EU national, you enjoy the right of free movement. This means you’re entitled to travel, work and live in another EU country. If you’re a citizen of a Schengen country – which is most EU countries – you’re also free to travel to other Schengen countries without the need for border checks.
As an EU national, you can also benefit from EU-wide passenger rights for travel into, out of or within the EU by air, rail, bus/coach or ship. You can travel with pets and other animals in the EU provided you comply with the rules (pet passports). There are EU limits on taking alcohol, tobacco or cash with you to another EU country. Each EU country can set its own limits or restrictions, so check before you go.
Fear Of Flying Procedure
We have taken the decision to not prescribe diazepam for patients with a fear of flying for multiple reasons which we have listed below.
- Diazepam is a sedative which causes you to feel sleepy and more relaxed. While this can be seen as a benefit, if there is an emergency during the flight it can reduce your ability to concentrate, follow instructions and react to the situation. This can have very serious safety consequences for both yourself and others on the flight.
- Sedative medication can make you fall asleep. However, this is not a natural sleep (non-REM) which means you do not move around as much as you would if you had fallen asleep naturally. This can cause increased risk of blood clots (DVT) in the leg or even the lung. This is a very serious condition which can be fatal. Patients travelling for more than 4 hours are at a greater risk.
- Although the medication is a sedative and for most people it does have a sedating effect, a small number of people will experience the opposite and become more aggressive. This type of medication can also cause disinhibition which means you behave in a way that is not normal for you. This can have an impact on your own safety as well as the safety of those around you.
- The British National Formulary (BNF) is the guidance that prescribing clinicians must follow. The guidance states that benzodiazepines (the type of drug diazepam is) is not to be prescribed in cases of phobias. This means that your doctor would be taking a significant legal risk in prescribing diazepam as it goes against their guidelines. The medication is only licenced for short term crisis cases of generalised anxiety.
- Diazepam and similar medications are illegal in several countries. This means on landing they could be confiscated or even lead to you being in trouble with the police.
- The medication also stays in your system for quite a while. If your job requires random drug testing, then this may cause you to fail.
We do appreciate that a fear of flying is a very real condition and that it is frightening for those patients effected. However, it is much better to tackle the approach properly. We have a Mental Health Practitioner based at the surgery who is able to discuss this fear with you, please speak with a Receptionist if this is something you would like to be booked in for. There are also courses available run by the airline companies.
We have listed several links of examples, or just search fear of flying courses on the internet to find one that suits you.
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