Choose the Right Service

first aid

Feeling Unwell?

If you become unwell or are injured, there are a number of NHS services available to you to provide the best health care for your needs. Choosing the right NHS service will help get you the best advice quickest and reduces pressure on A&E and GP services, freeing them up to help those who need it most.


Self Care - self-care is perfect if your condition is something you will be able to treat at home, such as coughs, colds and common childhood illnesses (link to child health booklet). For advice on what to do and what to take, speak to your pharmacist or call the NHS 111 service on 111. You will also find a wealth of information on conditions and treatments on the NHS website, including advice for a wide range of ailments and illnesses. Visit: 

pharmacyPharmacies – your local pharmacy can provide treatments and advice for a wide range of complaints including coughs and colds, teething, skin rashes and hayfever. They can also advise you on what to stock in your medicine cabinet. Find your nearest pharmacy on the NHS website or find information on opening hours during Easter, Christmas, New Year and other Bank Holidays.

gpYour GP - you can get a range of health advice by appointment from your local GP Surgery during their opening hours (excluding bank holidays). Make sure that you are registered with a GP so you can receive NHS health care and support services. Please check your GP surgery website for opening hours. Find your local GP surgery on the NHS website

NHS111NHS 111 - If you have an illness or injury and need advice or treatment in the evening or at a weekend and it is not life-threatening, call 111 for free. NHS111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – all calls from landlines and mobiles are free.

Minor injury units and first aid centresMinor Injury Units (MIU) & First Aid Units (FAU) - If you need advice or treatment for minor injuries or illnesses quickly, such as a sprain, broken bones or minor burns, then a Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) or First Aid Unit FAU) could help you quickly. You will often be seen quicker at an MIU than at A&E where priority is given to serious and life-threatening conditions. 

Dental emergenciesDental Emergencies – you can access out-of-hours dental services in your area by calling your dentist, who should have an answerphone message with details of how to access treatment out of hours. Or, dial 111 to speak to the NHS111 service 24 hours a day and they will help to arrange appropriate advice and treatment in your area.

Eye emergenciesEye Emergencies – The Oxford Eye Hospital is based in the West Wing of the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. Patients with urgent eye symptoms can walk-in, preferably with a referral letter to provide more clinical information. Patients will be triaged and the most serious cases are seen first. Eye emergencies (24 hours): 01865 234567

A&E or 999A&E or 999 - Accident and Emergency (A&E) or 999 are for serious and life-threatening emergencies only. Life threatening conditions include things such as severe chest pains, breathing difficulties, choking, and serious bleeding injuries. At A&E, the most seriously ill patients will be seen before those with less urgent conditions. The Oxford University Hospitals has emergency departments at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and Horton General Hospital in Banbury. Both are open 24 hours a day.

‘Health and Care Oxfordshire’ app

You can also download OCCG’s ‘Health and Care Oxfordshire’ app to your smart phone to find health services closest to where you are in Oxfordshire. See the links below.


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