LONDON – A significant proportion of people from the United Kingdom currently seek no health advice before travelling abroad due to a lack of awareness of, and access to, comprehensive health support. So today, as part of their on-going investment in the UK travel health sector, Valneva UK Limited is announcing the imminent launch of the VIP (Valneva in Partnership) programme, an all-inclusive programme of tools, assets and resources carefully designed to support pharmacies to offer a comprehensive travel health service.
Annually, over 70 million trips abroad are made from the UK but approximately 50% of travellers depart without seeking health advice.1,2 Among those who do seek advice, a proportion commonly leave it too late to consult with a healthcare professional meaning many travellers are poorly protected.2 This may result in as many as 60% of travellers becoming ill as a result of their travels.3 While already a significant issue, in future, this may be further compounded by the potential impact of pharmacy funding cuts announced last year by the Department of Health, with up to 3,000 pharmacies expected to close as a result.
“The healthcare landscape in the UK is changing dramatically, and will continue to change over the coming years with providers struggling to meet the needs of their customers while also maintaining a viable business,” stated Graham Thoms, Head of Commercial Operations UK, Ireland & Southern Europe, Valneva UK. “The launch of the VIP programme is intended to be a win-win for travellers and pharmacists alike, providing greater access to comprehensive health services that travellers desperately need through supporting pharmacies in expanding their range of services.”
The VIP programme aims to address the significant and growing unmet health needs amongst both UK travellers and the pharmacies that deliver their community health services. The programme offers pharmacies access to online travel health training and consultation platforms, a referral scheme with clinic finder, nurse mentorship and skills coaching, as well as a range of disease awareness and clinic support materials.
Commenting on the potential impact of the programme for pharmacies, Fiona Caplan Dean, Commercial Services Manager, Rowlands Pharmacy, said: “VIP has the power to transform current travel health standards and practices by delivering innovative and differentiated solutions to the challenge of making robust travel health support available to all.”
VIP officially goes live in August 2017, but those who wish to register their interest in the programme should visit vip.valnevauk.com today.