Healthcare, Doctors and Dentists in Oxford
- There's a vast range of treatments available to the potential patient in Oxford, from acupuncture and jin shin jyutsu to cosmetic surgery. If you have a health complaint not serious enough to merit dialling 999 or going straight to the John Radcliffe Hospital, try www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk. It has a step-by-step self diagnosis process (click on the part of the body where your symptoms occur, follow the sequence of questions and find out whether you need to see a doctor), useful links, discussions, features and a comprehensive guide to the NHS. (To talk to a real person, call them on 111 - they'll take your number and a nurse will call back.) To find more long-term healthcare in Oxfordshire, visit the NHS Choices website, where you can search for local NHS provision of all kinds (GPs, dentists, mental health services, opticians, maternity services, alcohol and drug addiction help, etc.). There is also a private GP service that operates in the city centre (3 mins from the station) and in Summertown, offering scheduled and 'walk-in' GP appointments, treatment for minor injuries, sexual health and contraception clinics, vaccinations and travel consultations.
- If you're still finding it tricky to find an NHS dentist in your area after seeking one via the web, you can always call the Oxfordshire Primary Care Trust (PCT)'s Dental Helpline on 01865 337267. If you need emergency advice or treatment, try the out-of-hours service on 0845 345 8995, between 6.30pm–10.00pm Monday-Friday and 9.00am–9.00pm at weekends and bank holidays. This service is available to all Oxfordshire residents (including temporary residents and visitors). Callers will be phoned back for triage and provided with either advice or offered appointments for emergency treatment. PLEASE NOTE that this service is for people with urgent or emergency needs only - it doesn't provide routine care or repeat appointments.
- Each different doctor's/dentist's practice will have its own rules about registering, but expect to need some major ID along the lines of passport or driving licence. Some surgeries may already have as many patients as they can handle, and will have to suggest an alternative.
- If you have come from abroad and are going to be here for more than six months, you can qualify as a resident and register with a surgery if you can provide your ID and a rental contract, or a bank statement or utility bill sent to your UK address. If you are staying for less than six months, you can still receive NHS treatment, but you will have to pay unless your home country has a reciprocal arrangement. For a list of those that do, go to pages 25 and 26 of this document.
- If you attend Oxford University, you can go and see your college nurse (limited hours each week at most colleges), or visit the medical practice that takes care of your college. Find out more on the Oxford University Health and Welfare pages.
- If you attend Oxford Brookes University, you can get help at the Medical Centre on campus, or at St. Bartholomew's Medical Centre, Manzil Way, Cowley Road, Tel: 242334. More info is on Oxford Brookes University Health and Welfare pages.
- For other questions not answered here, you may wish to consult the Department of Health's website, or call their Customer Service Centre on 0207 210 4850. We found them very helpful.
Cosmetic dentistry guide: Includes articles on treatments, experts to answer your questions and discussion forums.
The site also has a directory of cosmetic dentists including a list of dentists in Oxford.
Sexual Health and Contraception
Here are the relevant info, help and advice services in Oxfordshire:
Oxfordshire NHS has now consolidated various departments, so that Family Planning, GU Medicine and testing and treatment for STIs and HIV are now all together in a series of county-wide clinics. In Oxford city there are two clinics - one up at the Churchill Hospital and the other on Rectory Road in East Oxford (off Cowley Road). There are also clinics in Abingdon, Banbury, Bicester, Didcot, Kidlington, Wantage and Witney. The phone number for Oxford city and all the outlying clinics is 01865 231231, except Banbury which has its own number: 01865 904500. You can find full details of these clinics, their opening times, the schedule of appointment-based and walk-in clinics, and the services they provide all on one Oxfordshire Sexual Health Service website.
Some things are worth noting:
If you're going to a clinic where you don't need an appointment, you will probably have to wait (1-2 hours) and it is worth getting there early if you can.
These Sexual Health clinics do not offer smear tests - you will need to see your GP for those.
People under 25 can go to any session at any clinic, but there is also a specific clinic for under 25s at the Churchill in Oxford, Wednesdays 3.30-6pm. There are also some services that are different or only available for under 25s, such as a free kit to test yourself at home for Chlamydia.
Emergency contraception can be given up to 5 days after having sex, but it works best in the first 24 hours. Post-exposure Prophylaxis can be given if you have been exposed to HIV: it can be given up to 72 hours after exposure, but again ideally in the first 24 hours.
If you have suffered sexual assault the clinics can help, and sexual health advisors are available to talk over any aspect of sex confidentially.
Although the legal age of consent is 16, sexual health clinics are for anyone having sex, of any age: all information is confidential and if you are aged 13-15 staff can provide you with contraception without telling your parent or guardian. You are allowed to give a false name (but you have to remember it for next time)!
Check up by post: you can also do a self-test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea by post. It's not quite as reliable as going in for a check up, but it's quick, painless, better than nothing and may also acclimatise you to the idea of having a proper check up, if the thought freaks you out. It's no longer free for under 25s but they offer a 10% discount if you use the code TEST10. Tests are £20 for HIV or Chlamydia testing alone, £25 for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, or £100 to test for 10 STIs. You can order a test at http://www.test.me
What is it like having a smear test? Never done it before? Find out everything in our agent's confidential report. A smear test looks for changes in your cells which might indicate cervical cancer. It is not a test for STIs. You will be invited for a smear test every 3 years, but you can book an appointment for one with your GP or practice nurse at any time.
Other useful services locally include:
Oxford Friend - support, counselling, info and training services for the LGBTQ+ community in Oxfordshire
OSARCC (Oxford Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre) -for women and girls who have suffered sexual assault
SAFE Project - for victims of crime aged 8-25
For more helpful organisations see our directoryhere.
Accident and Emergency
- The John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford (01865 741166, Headley Way, Headington, OX3 9DU), and Horton Hospital in Banbury (01295 275500, Oxford Road, Banbury, OX16 9AL) both have Emergency Departments, open 24 hours a day. The John Radcliffe Hospital has a dedicated Children's Emergency Department. If you need an ambulance, call 999.
Other Useful and / or Interesting links
Encyclopaedia, articles, interactive section and questions answered.
a large and detailed medical encyclopedia.
The bright orange background may be alarming, but this is one of the most comprehensive health sites on the web. Select a symptom and receive a thorough briefing on possible causes, suggested treatments, and whether you should pluck up the courage to see your GP. Also features handy links to pharmaceutical and alternative medicince sites.
Healthsites - your portal to medical and health information on the net is designed to help non-medical people and doctors find reliable health related information.
The raTrust works with individuals and groups that are at risk of contracting STIs including HIV, concentrating on the physical, social and mental well-being of those they work with.