Getting health care

Sources of health care and support services.

Assessing your needs

If you need social care and support services, we need to carry out an assessment. The assessment will identify what your needs are and how best they can be met.

Requesting an assessment.

On this page, you'll find sources of health care you may be able to get yourself.

Depending on your financial circumstances, you may be expected to pay for or contribute towards the cost of your care.

Getting medical care services

Calling 999 - in an emergency

You should only call '999' when an immediate response is required, and someone is in immediate danger.

The telephone operator will ask which emergency service you require - police, fire or ambulance.

You will be asked where you are so the service can find you as quickly as possible.

Try to stay calm and tell the operator the situation. The operator will tell you what to do until help arrives.

Calling 111 - for something which isn't urgent

This service is available all day, every day. It will help you access health services for non-urgent complaints. The call advisers are supported by health professionals. They can help you:

  • book an appointment when your GP clinic is shut
  • pass your details to other people you need to speak to.

If they think you need an ambulance, they will send one immediately, just as if you had dialled 999.

You should call 111 if:

  • it is not a 999 emergency
  • you think you need to go to A&E or another NHS urgent care service
  • you do not think it can wait for an appointment with your GP
  • you do not know who to call for medical help.

For less urgent health needs, you should still contact your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way. 

Support for carers

Contact Carers Oxfordshire if you are a carer and you need help and advice about social care services.

Your dentist

If an NHS dentist accepts you for treatment, the NHS will contribute towards the cost of treatment.

Dental care for children under 18 and care for expectant and nursing mothers and people receiving income support is free. Other people on low income may be entitled to help with the charge.

Visit our oral health page for more information and help finding a dentist.

Your optician

An optician is responsible for testing eyesight and prescribing glasses.

If you need help with paying for glasses or contact lenses, your optician can advise you.

Use the NHS website to search for an optician in your area.

Your pharmacist

Pharmacists are health professionals who can advise on treating common problems. If you require information about help towards paying for prescriptions, your pharmacist can help you.

Hospital services

If you have to go into hospital, staff will help care for your immediate and long-term needs. They will ensure that your discharge from hospital is well planned and safe so that you have services to support you when you leave.

Find out more about going into hospital.

Patient advice liaison service (PALS)

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service is available to anyone using health services. It aims to provide:

  • a confidential listening and support service for patients, relatives and carers
  • information about health treatment and services
  • advice and answers
  • information about available help and support.

Find patient advice and liaison services in your area.