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Benzodiazepines and Other Sedating Agents For Fear of Flying
We are often asked to prescribe sedative drugs, such as diazepam (Valium), for fear of flying. We have recently agreed a practice policy (effective July 2023) that we will no longer prescribe these drugs for fear of flying.
There are several good reasons why prescribing of drugs such as diazepam is not safe or recommended:
- Diazepam and similar drugs are not recommended for treatment of phobias. Aviation specialists do not support their use for fear of flying.
- Using a sedative medication means you will be sleepy with slower reaction times. This may impact on your ability to respond to an emergency during the flight.
- If using a sedative during a flight, you may move around less which could increase your risk of developing a blood clot (DVT) in your leg or lung.
- In a small number of people sedative medications can cause agitation, aggression, or confusion. This could impact on your safety, and those of other passengers.
- Diazepam and similar drugs are illegal or controlled drugs in some countries. This means bringing them into certain countries, or moving between countries could have legal implications.
- Diazepam (and other medications) stay in your system for some time. If your job requires you to submit to random drug testing, you may fail this tes
We recognise that fear of flying is real and frightening and we don’t underestimate the impact it can have. We recommend tackling this properly by using self-help resources or considering one of the ‘Fear of Flying’ course run by many airlines. We do not recommend any specific course but you may find the following links useful.
Private Letters and Forms
We have recently reviewed requests for GP letters of support or evidence. These sorts of requests are non-NHS work which attract a charge and may be declined.
We do not recommend that patient’s request letters for the following reasons: -
- Blue badges
- Housing/changes in accommodation
- Personal independence payment (PIP)
A doctor's letter will not add anything extra to your application as we can only produce a letter from your records. We have been informed (and is referenced in the links below) that these letters rarely make a difference to your application.
We recommend that patients provide their own information about their medical problems focusing on the impact these have on their lives. If a medical report or evidence from your GP is required, then the report will be sent the practice directly by the council.
The practice continues to decline the following private work as our staff do not have the specialist qualifications needed to make these assessments:
- Fitness to fly (including in pregnancy)
- Fitness to participate in sporting activities/sponsored activities.
Friends and Family November 2023
In November 2023, 89% of patients who responded to our survey were likely to recommend our service to their friends and family.
Friends and Family Results May 2023
In November 2023, 89% of our patients were likely to recommend our service to Family and Friends.
Please note that due to continues staff shortages our turnaround for prescription requests remains at 72 hours (3 working days).
Green Impact Statement
Clevedon Medical Centre is joining the Green Impact Scheme.
We are currently facing a climate emergency which is not only going to have a huge impact on our planet, but also on our health.
All of us here at Clevedon Medical Centre feel it is important to make sure we are doing everything we can to become a more sustainable practice.
We have two main aims -
1) To help everyone registered with us to be as healthy as possible - so they can reduce their own carbon footprint.
2) Reduce our own carbon footprint and impact on the environment.
We are now part of the Green Impact Scheme and have started work on several projects to improve our green credentials. We are working hard to ensure this will not impact the care we provide and look forward to working with our patients to become a greener, more sustainable practice.
Environmentally Friendly Inhaler Project
As part of our new Green Impact Scheme membership we have started work on some projects to reduce our carbon footprint.
The first, and one of the most important, projects is a move towards more environmentally friendly inhalers.
Inhalers are used for people with breathing conditions, such as asthma or COPD. You may have an inhaler yourself or know someone who does.
Some of these inhalers have a high level of greenhouse gases (which are not harmful to humans), but are bad for the environment.
So our team is looking at where we can change these inhalers to those that have lower levels of greenhouse gases and actually a lot of these might work better for you.
Our number one priority is looking after our patients so we will only change inhalers to ones that we know are as good (and in some cases even better) than the ones you have been using. If you are worried about these changes then please contact the surgery to discuss your concerns.