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Issue Date:- 27 October 2008


A group of medical professionals has teamed up with the UK’s biggest name in travel health to open Southport’s 1st specialist clinic to help travellers protect themselves from infectious diseases and illnesses while abroad.

MASTA Travel Clinic based in Triangle House on Church Street (next door to St Mark’s Medical Centre) aims to promote safe and healthy travel and believes it can capitalise on the growing popularity of gap breaks, last minute bookings and adventure holidays. 

Southport brings MASTA’s national network to 40 and expects to attract the town’s holidaymakers and business travellers living in a 30 mile radius.  A full range of one-stop services will include travel immunisations, malaria tablets and other medication plus travel health products and advice.

Every year approximately 2,000 people return to Britain with malaria and there has been a 150% increase in visits by British travellers to malarious countries in the last 10 years, with more than 50 deaths since 2001.

The MASTA Travel Clinic is headed up by Dr Shaun Meehan and supported by a nursing team of 4. He said:- “People need all-round travel advice on staying healthy while abroad and there are no facilities like this in the area. This means we will be able to offer more choice to anyone needing travel health services.  This is especially true with more of us booking last minute deals on the internet and not thinking about what precautions we should be taking before setting off.”

The clinic will also offer access to MASTA’s unique internet-based patient consulting system, e-clinic. This gives travellers instant updates on health risks and disease outbreaks in every country worldwide together with vaccination advice, and practical travel tips. It supports doctors and nurses with the latest medical information from MASTA’s Health Risk database.

“e-clinic brings modern technology, thinking and communication to travel health. People can ask questions and get instant answers. This ensures someone finds out more before their journey and helps them to understand easily the medical opinion they are given,” said Shaun.

For more information or to make an appointment contact the MASTA Travel Clinic on 01704 511730.


DESPITE it being heralded as a quick means to save fuel costs, parking fees and reduce carbon emissions- as well as getting to know your work mates better, fleet drivers enjoy their own space too much to want to car share, according to research by Masterlease.

Indeed, regardless of the obvious environmental and fuel saving benefits, 55% of drivers would say ‘no’ to car sharing if they had a choice. In fact, of those 55% who would not consider car sharing, 3 out of 4 respondents admitted that they would rather make up an excuse than say yes to a lift share request.

The main reason for preferring to travel alone was drivers wanting to listen to the radio during their journey, followed closely by people liking the flexibility of their own transport and the belief or excuse that no-one lived near enough to them to make it worthwhile.

Nearly 70% of people who took part in the survey also admitted that they felt their driving changed with passengers in the car, but opinion was split on whether the effect on their driving was positive or negative.  41% reported feeling that they drove less confidently, whilst 47% felt that the effect was positive because they ended up driving more conscientiously.  Of those that felt that having passengers in the car had a positive effect on their driving, more than 50% said that this was because they slowed down and 41% said that it was because they drove more carefully.

Clive Forsythe, sales and marketing director at Masterlease, said:- “It is intriguing that respondents described driving more slowly as both positive and negative. For some it is probably a very positive consequence to have passengers in the car as they are more conscientious, but others felt that it cramped their usual driving style.”

Nearly half said that their driving changed the most when it was a work colleague or their boss in the car with them.

Forsythe concludes:- “The results of this survey are really interesting as they show that we tend to drive more carefully with others in the car. People possibly worry about others judging their driving and so slow down and are much more careful. However, people report that they would still rather travel alone despite the obvious fuel-saving advantages as well as safety benefits. These results will hopefully open the debate on car sharing and highlight not only the cost saving and environmental benefits, but also the safety advantages.”

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