Patients who wish to travel abroad should familiarise themselves with the prescribing policy which is based on NHS policy and law.
By law, the NHS ceases to have responsibility for the medical care of patients when they leave the UK. GPs are not required by their terms of service to provide prescriptions for the treatment of a condition that is not present and may arise while the patient is abroad. This means GPs cannot assist in any medical condition which develops whilst you are abroad.
The NHS does accept responsibility for supplying ongoing medication for temporary periods abroad of up to 3 months. But if a person is going to be abroad for more than 3 months then they can only be issued sufficient supply of regular medication to get to their destination after which they should find an alternative supply of that medication.
Patients and relatives should not seek medication for themselves while they are abroad as this constitutes NHS fraud.
Prescriptions for medicines in case of illness while abroad.
GP’s will only prescribe NHS prescriptions in this case for exacerbations of pre-existing illnesses. Eg antibiotics for patients who have frequent infections secondary to an underlying lung condition.
GPs may provide private prescriptions if it is clinically appropriate and they can be self-administered safely without medical assessment while abroad. These prescriptions are not free.
Patients should be aware that some drugs commonly prescribed in the UK may be illegal in certain countries and you should check with that countries embassy before you travel.
If you are unsure please contact the surgery and we would be happy to assist.