Travelling in the UK when you have cancer might mean you need to plan a little ahead.
It is helpful to think about these things before you travel:
- how will you get to and from your holiday
- what equipment will you need (such as bath aids or a commode)
- what type of accommodation do you need: for example, a ground floor room or extra space around the bed
- whether you need a fit to travel letter from your doctor
Getting help with travel
You can get help with your travel if you need it. For example, you can book with the train company to have help getting on and off the train. Or you can book a wheelchair at the airport to take you to the departure gate or your seat if needed.
The Red Cross can arrange a car, driven by a volunteer, to take you to and from your holiday within the UK. They ask for a donation and the amount will depend on the length of the journey. Contact your local branch.
Open Britain and Disability Rights UK can suggest holiday accommodation that’s suitable for older people or people with disabilities.
Care while you're away
You can go to the nearest hospital if you need care or treatment while you are away. Or you can register with a local GP as a temporary resident if you are in the area for more than 24 hours but less than 3 months. The care or treatment is free if you are a British citizen or you are legally living and working in the UK.
Take a doctor’s letter with you showing:
- all your medical details
- your NHS number
- details of the team looking after you
This will make it much easier for you and for the staff at the hospital or GP surgery.
You might be due to have a routine blood test or an injection while you’re away. Your medical team can arrange this with the nearest hospital or GP surgery before you go.
Some people find it helpful to carry a medical identity bracelet or necklace. This has your illness and an emergency number on it.
MedicAlert is a registered charity that provides ID jewellery engraved with your medical condition and a 24 hour telephone number to call in the event of an emergency. The jewellery starts at around £20 per bracelet.
Help with the cost of your holiday
You might be able to get help with the cost of your holiday. Some cancer charities offer financial help to cancer patients and their families. For example, Macmillan Cancer Support offers grants to people with cancer who have a low income.
Citizens Advice might have details of charities in your area that can help with holiday costs. Look in your local phone book or search online for your nearest Citizens Advice service.