Have you thought about setting up a travel clinic in your pharmacy now countries are slowly opening up again after Covid? Have you maximised all income available through NHS revenue streams and now it makes sense to grow your business through private services? Then read on and find out why a travel clinic is an ideal service to offer in a pharmacy.
General Practices are only able to provide the following travel vaccinations under the NHS: polio (given as a combined diphtheria/ tetanus/polio jab), typhoid, hepatitis A and cholera and some surgeries don’t even offer these anymore.
Most GPs no longer offer the following vaccinations services to their patients and therefore need to be signposted to alternative providers: hepatitis B, Japanese encephalitis, tick-borne encephalitis, meningitis, rabies, tuberculosis and yellow fever. Therefore private travel clinics need to offer these vaccines so patients can be protected before they travel.
Although, as there is currently a lack of convenient locations that can offer a comprehensive travel health and vaccination service, 40 per cent of people who travel to countries where there are known health risks, currently do not protect themselves appropriately
.While the World Health Organization (WHO) advises all travellers to consult a health care professional at least four weeks before travelling, even consultations taking place as late as the day of departure can be beneficial. Pharmacists are ideal candidates to provide these consultations; they are accessible, available and, in many areas, have the authority to prescribe and administer the most appropriate vaccinations.
Travel services in a pharmacy can deliver faster access to vaccine and antimalarial medication than the more conventional route of obtaining from GP practices. Also, it’s easier to get an appointment at a pharmacy than it is at a GP and a profitable service to offer.
While travel health offers revenue generation potential across various levels of pharmacist involvement, community pharmacists should also recognise the specialized knowledge required to provide pre-travel assessments and equip themselves with the knowledge, skills and resources to do so safely and effectively and complete their travel health training with an accredited company. ECG offer both online training and live webinar training for travel health so ensure you complete your training before you set up your clinic.
Laura Oakley, Clinical Development Manager, ECG Training, Monday 4th April 2022