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Travel certificates for stoma patients – everything you need to know

28th August 2021

Having a stoma should not restrict you from travelling orgoing on holiday abroad. Holidays are the highlight of people’s year and it is the perfect time to escape from the daily routine and catch up with friends and family. There maybe a few issues which concern you, the most commonworry is how to get safely through the airport with your stoma supplies and also worries about being searched by security personnel. Travel certificates can ease some of those anxieties as they provide a simple explanation of why you have to carry stoma supplies, so you do not have to stand there explaining yourself.  Security staff are usually very good at treating those with a stoma respectfully and discreetly, so try not to get too worried.

Travel certificates:

Make sure you get yourself a travel certificate, it can work wonders for making your pending travel less stressful and can help prevent any issues at security. Travel certificates are usually a handy pocket size certificate, ask your stoma care nurse if you are unsure where to get one. They explain simply, your condition and/or stoma surgery and why you always need to carry your essential stoma products and medications with you in your hand luggage.

The information is written in English and many other languages, so you can choose which is appropriate for you.  It should save you having to explain yourself in front of any other people you may be travelling with.

The certificate will also advise security that you have a “hidden condition” and therefore need a bit of privacy and support when going through the airport.

There is often a section for your stoma care nurse/GP to endorse the certificate, which is useful evidence if security need it.

It is a good idea to also take a copy of your repeat prescriptions which shows all your stoma product pescriptionsand codes.

Planning ahead:

Planning for holidays helps you feel really organised and ready for a relaxing time away from home. Get ready by making a list of jobs you need to get done before the big day.

Stoma equipment:

  • Make sure your prescriptions are in for the next month and you have plenty of pouches and accessories to take with you, plus some spares just in case
  • Don’t forget your wipes and disposable bags too
  • Medications if necessary
  • Hand wipes if running water is not available
  • Hand held mirror may help

Finding out the nearest medical facilities:

Enquire as to where the nearest medical facilities are to where you are staying and have emergency information ready.

Travel Insurance:

Check you have a good travel insurance and make sure you are fully covered on the day you leave until the day you return. Some companies may have age or pre-existing medical condition limits.

Covid-19

With all the recent uncertainty around travelling abroad, many people have cancelled or delayed their holidays this summerand are staying within the UK. If you are going abroad still remember to take your masks and hand sanitiser! The choice is yours if you live in England as masks are no longer a legal requirement now (from 19th July). But in other parts of the UK there are different rules and many shops and transport still require them.

Check beforehand what the regulations are for the country you are travelling to and whether you need a Covid pass to demonstrate your vaccination status and whether the country you are travelling to accept and recognise.

It is a good idea to check in advance whether quarantine is a requirement on your return.

Before booking an international flight, you should check government travel advice for the latest information on Covid-19 entry requirements and travel warnings for the country you are travelling to.

Check what you will need to do if you will be returning to the UK.

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