For medical emergencies and mental health emergencies, see Emergencies.
The College Nurse is available in term time to advise, treat and support any student. See details including her contact information and clinic times here. Outside of term, or if the Nurse is unavailable (she works part-time), students should in the first instance contact the College Doctors (below), with whom the College Nurse works closely.
All students must be registered with a doctor in Oxford and must notify the College of who their doctor is. The College Doctors, Dr Chris Kenyon and Dr Jayne Haynes, will register any member of College to their practice at 19 Beaumont Street, Oxford (01865 240501). For information on making an appointment or getting telephone advice from a GP, see:
Students having difficulty registering with an Oxford GP should contact the Wellbeing and Welfare Lead or the College Nurse as soon as possible.
National Health Service
In non-urgent cases, NHS 111 can help you find out where to get help for your symptoms or repeat prescriptions and can also tell you where to get an emergency supply of your prescribed medicine.
Consultations with doctors are free. If you are given a prescription, you must take it to a pharmacy or the doctor will send it to the pharmacy of the student’s choice. Rules regarding which medications can be sold over the counter and which are prescription-only are strict, but pharmacists will be able to advise you. Prescriptions are subject to a charge.
The NHS does not permit communication to insecure email addresses, and so students are advised to use their Balliol address when contacting health professionals by email.
UK students who need to consult a GP when away from Oxford during the vacations can be seen as a temporary patient by any other NHS GP practice, usually the family GP.
Any overseas student on a course lasting longer than six months is entitled to full NHS treatment for conditions which require treatment while they are here. For stays of less than six months you may be required to pay. Proof of eligibility may be required for hospital treatment.
Overseas students are advised to arrange a UK phone number, otherwise they cannot receive a call back from the College Nurse, the College Doctor, or the NHS 111 advice line.
These must be arranged through the College Doctor, even for private consultations: you cannot see a consultant without a GP referral. Some NHS departments have long waiting times and speed is the main reason to choose to be seen privately. The College Nurse or College Doctor can make recommendations. Complementary and alternative therapies are not available on the NHS; some may be available through private medical insurance. The College Nurse can provide contact details.
Students are advised to try local dental surgeries for available appointments. All students are advised to retain their dentist at home for routine check-ups in vacations.
Out-of-hours medical care
There are several opticians around the city centre. Lenses and frames can be expensive, and it pays to shop around: you can take a prescription to any optician to have it made up. For eye injuries and urgent conditions, contact the College Nurse, the College Doctors, or the Oxford Eye Hospital.
Vaccinations and notifiable diseases
Students are strongly encouraged to take up vaccinations e.g., for Covid-19 or meningitis, when eligible, ideally before arriving in Oxford. When registering with the College Doctor or any other doctor, you will be asked for dates of your immunisations and can arrange any that are outstanding.
Students are required to inform Balliol via their Lodge and the College Nurse if they are diagnosed with a notifiable disease (e.g., mumps, measles, Covid-19).
Contraception and sexual health
Contraception is freely available from the College Doctors. For emergency contraception students should visit the Churchill Hospital as soon as possible; see also the Sexual Health Oxfordshire website.
Blood pressure and other checks for repeat oral contraceptive prescriptions are available from the College Nurse, following an initial visit to a GP or specialist Practice Nurse at 19 Beaumont Street. Advice is available from the College Nurse and from the Oxfordshire Sexual Health Service.
Special dietary requirements
If you have special dietary requirements, including being vegan or vegetarian, or having a nut allergy or a special diet, see Food.
The College endeavours to foster a culture of safe and responsible drinking, following this Guidance for Colleges on Students and Alcohol.
See also the information on other pages in this section, shown in the menu below.