Health and Welfare

Health and Welfare

Medical services in the UK

The National Health Service (NHS) is the UK’s state health service, and provides a full range of medical treatment. The UK Council for International Student Affairs gives a good summary of the services provided by the NHS and which service should be used for which type of illness.

Students coming to the UK for the first time are likely to notice a number of differences from the healthcare system in their home country. For example, in the UK a General Practitioner (known as GPs, medical doctors based in a community health centre/surgery) would be the first port of call for most health complaints rather than a specialist at a hospital. Another difference is that, for students whose course lasts more than six months1, much of the healthcare provided by the NHS is free at the point of delivery.

Summertown Health Centre and College Doctor and Nurse

The College has an agreement with nearby Summertown Health Centre, and a doctor and nurse from the Health Centre visit the College regularly during term time.

Students should register for Summertown Health Centre online before they arrive at College. Students with existing conditions and those needing vaccinations should also attend medical registration at College on Wednesday 4 October between 10.30 - 16.30 (sign up for an appointment after arriving). To register at other times, please contact Summertown Health Centre directly.

The College Nurse is available without appointment during term time (weeks 0-9 inclusive). Her clinic hours can be found on the College website and take place on the first floor of the Old main Building

The College Doctor visits the College for a weekly clinic during term time (weeks 1-8 inclusive). Clinic hours are listed on the College website and take place on the first floor of the Old main Building. Students who are unable to access to first floor can email the College Nurse in advance to make alternative arrangements.

Appointments are needed to see the doctor and should be made via the appointments book kept in the Lodge.

At other times, appointments can be made to see a doctor or nurse at the Summertown Health Centre, a 15 minute walk from St Antony’s.

Emergency medical care

See here for details of medical services available in Oxford.

In an emergency situation, call 999 to access ambulance, police or fire services. The 999 line is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

999 should always be called if, for example, someone is seriously ill/injured or a crime is in progress. Once a caller is connected to a 999 operator or call handler, they will be asked a series of questions to establish what is wrong. This will allow the operator to determine the most appropriate response as quickly as possible.

Students in College should notify the Lodge about any emergency situation. Call 84700 from an internal phone or +44 (0)1865 284700.

The NHS 111 service should be used if medical help or advice is needed  but the situation is not life threatening. The 111 phone line is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

Call 111 if:

•    medical help is needed fast but there is no  999 emergency

•    you think you need to go to an Accident & Emergency Department  or need another NHS urgent care service

•    you don’t know who to call or you don’t have a doctor (GP) to call

•    you need health information or reassurance about what to do next

See also the NHS website for guidance.

If you need to contact the local police in a non-emergency, phone 101. The 101 phone line is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

You should call 101 to report crime and other concerns that do not require an emergency response. For example, if:

•    Your property has been damaged

•    You suspect drug use or dealing in your community

Or to:

•    Report a minor traffic collision

•    Give the police information about crime in your area

•    Speak to the police about a general enquiry

See here for further guidance.

Dental services

Dental treatment is available through the NHS but a contribution towards the cost of treatment is required. St Antony’s students usually register with Studental based at Oxford Brookes University, or Temple Street Dental Practice between Cowley and Iffley Roads. Both are NHS practices. Registration and appointments are handled directly with the dentist, online or in person.

Welfare support

Staying well as a student is not just about keeping physically healthy but also about maintaining good mental health. Everybody gets stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed sometimes, and there are many sources of support available from the College and the university.

College Dean

The Dean is responsible for all the non-academic affairs of students and is the lead point of contact for student welfare issues. The Dean manages the Junior Deans, and works closely with them and other members of the welfare team to coordinate the College’s pastoral care provision.

University Counselling Service

The University Counselling Service offers a professional and confidential service to students. Their website also features self-help resources that cover common issues such as overcoming procrastination and coping with depression.

College Advisor / Senior Tutor

Within the College, students are able to meet with their College Advisor (see section 2.12) or the Senior Tutor (see section 5.6) to discuss concerns. They in turn may be able to suggest other sources of support.

GCR welfare support

The GCR VP Welfare oversees a team that can help with issues relating to disability, childcare, equal opportunities, accommodation, financial hardship, and the physical and psychological health of the student body.

The St Antony's Peer Supporters are available informally to speak about any concern, e.g. stress, personal difficulties or worries. All Peer Supporters have been trained to listen effectively, communicate sensitively, respect boundaries and above all, maintain confidentiality.  

Peer Supporters also run the Cookie Fairy scheme, whereby cookies are delivered fortnightly to those who are nominated by their fellow Antonians as needing a pick-me-up. If you would like to send a cookie to someone, send their name to and their name will be added to the Cookie Fairy’s list. Like the Peer Supporters, the Cookie Fairy maintains a code of confidentiality.
Keep an eye on your pidges!

Students with disabilities

The University supports over 1,300 students who have declared a disability, including specific learning difficulties (such as dyslexia and dyspraxia), long-term health conditions, mental health difficulties, mobility difficulties, sensory impairments and autism spectrum disorders.

Students are strongly encouraged to notify the Disability Advisory Service (DAS) as soon as possible if they have (or think they might have) a disability for advice about the range of study support available, and so that appropriate  support arrangements can be made.

A guide to accessing disability support can be downloaded from the DAS website. Students can also contact the team to speak to a Disability Advisor who will be happy to answer any questions they might have via: email, phone (+44 (0)1865 280459), or in person at 3 Worcester Street, Oxford, OX1 2BX

Within St Antony’s, the disability contact is the College Registrar.