Occasionally we receive calls from patients who contact their GP practice about a post exposure rabies risk, but are not managed urgently and in some cases are referred back to a travel clinic or A&E.
We have contacted Public Health England (PHE), Rabies and Immunoglobulin Service (RIgS) at Colindale to determine the correct process. They have advised us that RigS support GPs with the post-exposure treatment of rabies, including the provision of clinical advice, issuing of immunoglobulins and antitoxins following a detailed risk assessment. These are supplied free of charge to NHS GP surgeries.
Once a patient is exposed to a risk of rabies, they fall under a duty of care by their GP for ‘post exposure treatment’. Patients should not be referred to A&E services locally. Private Travel Clinics can only manage pre-exposure rabies vaccination and also offer other preventative advice whilst traveling, not post exposure treatment.