Faculty of Travel Medicine responds to changes to the delivery of travel health advice and vaccinations in Scotland

05 Apr 2022

The Faculty of Travel Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow has issued guidance on standards of care in Travel Health Services after Scottish Government changes to service delivery.

As from 1 April 2022 delivery of vaccination services across Scotland will have transferred from GP practices to the NHS Health Boards. This will include travel health advice and vaccinations for travel.

The Good Practice Guidance for Providing a Travel Heath Service has been developed by the Faculty of Travel Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow as an international standard for travel health to promote safer travel in a world adjusting to pandemic infection and the uncertainties affecting the aviation and cruise sectors.

The www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk website will serve as a national entry point to enable Scottish travellers to check their vaccination and malaria prevention travel requirements. A travel health risk assessment is advised even when vaccines or malaria tablets are not required.

Travel health and vaccines will be delivered through a range of existing local services that will include pharmacies, travel clinics and yellow fever vaccination centres (YFVCs).

Dr Sam Allen, Dean of the Faculty of Travel Medicine said:

“The Faculty welcomes the acknowledgement by Scottish Government that there will be a need for workforce education, training and development to ensure a successful transfer of Travel Health advice and vaccinations from GP services to Health Boards and their chosen delivery partners.

I particularly welcome the acknowledgement from the Chief Medical, Nursing, and Pharmaceutical Officers that our Faculty provides training and education for specialist Travel Health services and I invite employers and practitioners to engage with us on this matter.

Our Good Practice Guidance for Providing a Travel Health Service guide sets out to define the standards of care every practitioner should achieve in their practice of travel medicine for the health and safety of the international traveller. This guidance is free and we would urge anyone involved in the delivery of health travel services to engage with its contents and use it in their practice. We also invite any member of the profession to join our Faculty for further opportunities for professional development and support.

The transfer of these services to the local level presents some challenges in providing a consistent service across Scotland. Particular care will need to be taken to ensure that patients are provided with the right information at the right time. The FitForTravel website will help in this and we hope to see the further development of this site in signposting and providing information to patients over the coming year.”

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