As people begin to plan for overseas holidays becoming possible in the months ahead, the Chester branch of the Well Travelled Clinics is about to open its doors again to welcome back travellers ahead of trips.
After closing in March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the reduction in international travel, the clinic, based in Watergate Street in the centre of Chester, will open again on Thursday 20th May, initially on an appointment only basis on Mondays and Thursdays.
While the clinic in Liverpool remained open part time to provide pretravel screening for aid workers and those in industries that required staff to travel during the pandemic, the nurses that work across both branches have been kept extremely busy in supporting it’s parent company, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) and local NHS and PHE health care teams with their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Managing Director Philippa Tubb said: “The downturn in international travel meant that there wasn’t the usual call for our services, but as a specialist nurse led team, we knew that we had an opportunity to put our specialism to good use and be part of the effort to respond to this global pandemic in a positive way.”
Nurse Rachel Press is part of the team, and, like her colleagues, has been heavily involved in a number of clinical trials, assisting the NHS and Public Health England as well as being one of the specialist nurses vaccinating participants when the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine became a phase 3 site for the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID vaccine trial. She said: “Professionally this year has been a good one for our team, we have been working really closely with research nurses and specialist teams at LSTM and University of Liverpool in their efforts to combat COVID-19. Being involved in the vaccine trial, and the subsequent trials about combining different vaccines, has been a real highlight for me and we truly feel that we have played our part in trying to get us all back to some sort of normality. It will be lovely to be seeing our travel customers again and preparing them for the holidays that we have all been looking forward to throughout the pandemic.”
As the world of international travel begins to open up again it is really important that people travel as safely as possible. Philippa explains: “The clinics will be offering COVID-19 PCR swab testing for travel purposes, but it is extremely important that people understand that COVID is not the only travel health risk. It is not a time to be getting sick and needing to attend hospital whilst we are away, so travellers need to make sure that they are up to date with their travel vaccines and check out any country specific requirements before they travel. You can check on what you might need on our website at www.welltravelledclinics.co.uk or make an appointment to come in and talk to one of our nursing team.”