As the summer holiday season is now upon us we do get numerous questions about travel from ITP sufferers and their families.
So here are some useful items for anyone travelling abroad ....
1) The EHIC- European Health Insurance Card.
This used to be known as a FORM E111 and should be taken by all travellers if you are visiting any country in the European Economic Area so as to ensure that you are entitled to get FREE treatment when you are visiting any one of those countries if you need it.
The countires in the European Economic Area are listed on the attached link and include the most widely travelled to European destinations for example... Italy, Spain (which of course includes Majorca, Minorca, The Canary Islands, Ibiza) , France, Germany, Portugal (including Madeira) etc........
The link also gives details as to how and where to get your European Health Insurance Card..... nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcar...
It is very important to get your EHIC well in advance of when you intend to travel as from personal experience the issuing department get very busy as the summer goes on and cards can sometimes take a while to issue. Get your card asap !!!!!!
2) The EHIC-European Health Insurance Card DOES NOT replace your TRAVEL INSURANCE POLICY. For details of where to get travel insurance you can email ITP Support Association HQ on firstname.lastname@example.org and they can provide details of insurarers familiar with ITP. If you already have a travel insurance policy you MUST advise them that you have ITP and they may then amend the cover under the policy or as in my own case they increased the premium. The insurer may also have to send you paperwork so make sure you talk to them well in advance of your trip to be certain they can get items to you on time.
3) The ITP Support Association have a number of very useful leaflets and brochures on travel which can be ordered via the website at itpsupport.org.uk . If you click on PUBLICATIONS you can then follow that to BOOKLETS- Holiday Insurance and Travel Guide. Then also FACTSHEETS - Patient Holiday factsheet which is available in most languages.
4) MEDICAL EMERGENCY CARD - these are available from ITP Support Association HQ and contain your Emergency Contact details, your medical condition, drugs which you have been taking, drugs which you should avoid, your doctors details and your hospital details so that in the event of emergency your medical situation is available to anyone treating you.
5) TALK to your SPECIALIST before your trip. Check that it is safe for you to travel. No two people with ITP are alike so it is really a matter of what the individual ITP patient and their specialist determine is right for them.
6) Take a LETTER from your specialist/hospital explaining what your condition is and what treatment you are on. This can then be taken to any hospital which may need to see it if you need treatment when you are away.
7) Make sure you have enough SUPPLIES of any medicines you do need to take whilst you are on holiday. It sounds obvious but well......!!!! Better safe than sorry.
8) Do a bit of RESEARCH on the country you are going to and look up the nearest hospitals to your actual holiday location. Get the address, telephone details written down. This sounds dramatic but it could be important in an emergency.
9) TAKE your TRAVEL INSURANCE policy with you and have details of their telephone numbers readily available should you need to use them.
10) If anyone else has any useful hints, tips or info on travel please do SHARE them.
11) HAVE A GOOD HOLIDAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!