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Providing pre-travel guidance

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Every year thousands of Britons travel abroad and every year there is a significant number who experience harm.

Since the 1980s, the upward trend in international travel has continued.1 The profile of UK travellers has changed considerably and there has been an increase in the number of people travelling who have significant complex health-care needs.

As a result of these developments, those who provide travel advice need to be knowledgeable of issues that could affect Britons while abroad. Travellers need appropriate information about the risks of travel to their destinations.2

Travel medicine is a dynamic discipline and nurses must keep up-to-date at all times in order to provide safe advice and healthcare to the public.3 The RCN has published guidelines indentifying the competencies needed to give travel health advice at different levels.

This article provides nurses offering travel advice with an overview of the risks that Britons abroad may face during international travel.

Consular assistance

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has produced a report on British behaviour abroad covering the period from April 2010 to March 2011. Findings relate to a variety of behaviours.4

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