Health and wellbeing

Our College Nurse, Wellbeing Advisor and College Counsellors are based in the College’s own Health and Wellbeing Centre, where they hold regular individual and group sessions.
All Newnham students (including those from the EU and Overseas) are required to register with an NHS surgery. See below for more details.

Registering with a GP

All Newnham students (including those from the EU and Overseas) are required to register with an NHS surgery.
Most Newnham students choose to register at Newnham Walk Surgery, a convenient minute’s walk away from the college. This year, you will be able to complete GP registration online.

College Health and Wellbeing Centre

Our College Nurse, Wellbeing Advisor and College Counsellors are based in the College Health and Wellbeing Centre, which is on the ground floor of Pfeiffer building, across the garden from the Porters’ Lodge. For accessibility details, see AccessAble.

The College policy on how your data is shared within the Health & Wellbeing team can be found here.

College Nurse

Our College Nurse, Julie Barker, holds regular surgeries and can offer medical advice. She is available to help with a wide variety of health and welfare needs, ranging from advice on minor illnesses and injuries to support for emotional issues. If more specialised help or treatment is required, she will help refer you or point you in the right direction via your GP, the University Counselling Service or other local service.

The Health Centre is open during term time. Weekly clinic times are advertised in Newnham News each week.

Book an appointment with the nurse

College Wellbeing Advisor

Our College Wellbeing Advisor, Hiruni Cox, can be found in the Pfeiffer building, room G01 opposite the Health Centre waiting room, 09.00-1700 every weekday except Thursday. Hiruni can offer one-to-one wellbeing support for students, helping with a wide range of issues such as anxiety, low mood, or interpersonal difficulties. She can also help with accessing mental health support within the University and beyond. To book a time to chat, please drop her an email: our doors are open, do pop in. If our doors are closed, please email or come back later.

Mental Health

Your mental health needs to be looked after as much as your physical health. See the University’s Student Wellbeing pages for ideas and guidance on how to support your mental health at University.

Sometimes looking up information about things that are concerning you is helpful, and UCS has a large selection of self-help information available. However, there are times when this is not enough and you may wish to speak to a Counsellor.

Newnham students can access free counselling via two main routes: College counselling or at the University Counselling Service.

1. Newnham College Counsellors

We have two College Counsellors, Kay Neish and Carol Harmston-Dean.

Kay is available as follows:
Term time hours:
Tuesdays 10:00 – 16:00

Carol is available as follows:
Term time hours:
Fridays 10:00 – 16:00

All students are able to book a one-off, 30-minute “check in” session with either Counsellor to offload and seek support. These sessions can either be in person (in Pfeiffer G07), or over the phone / video call – you will be able to confirm this with the Counsellor before your session. You will be able to book up to three one-off sessions; if more sessions are required after this, you can access additional, longer sessions at College (weekly or fortnightly) by liaising with the Counsellor. Please note – Carol is only able to offer remote appointments.

Counselling out of term in the short vacations will be by arrangement.

To book a 30-minute check-in appointment with a Counsellor, please click here. Please remember to select either Kay or Carol from the drop-down menu depending on the day you would like to book.

2. University Counselling Service

Newnham helps to fund the University Counselling Service (UCS), and all Newnham students have full access to their services and their numerous counsellors.

The University Counselling Service (UCS) offers “one at a time” therapy which aims to see students quickly and provide them with strategies to tackle their difficulties. There is a video explaining this approach here.

More information and a link to the self-referral form are here: Individual counselling | University Counselling Service (

UCS counsellors are available: Monday-Friday 09:00-17:00.
The Service remains open throughout the year except for brief closures at Christmas and Easter.
UCS also has a large selection of self-help information available on this website.

You can also request to speak to a BME Counsellor through UCS. If you have any issues with accessing a BME Counsellor, then please speak to:

Professor Manali Desai (BME Advisor)

Allergies in College

If you carry an Adrenaline Auto-Injector (EpiPen) you are encouraged to keep a spare in College – please see the College Nurse about this, and make sure that you carry your AAI at all times, that it is in date, and that your friends and neighbours know where it is and what to do in an emergency.

All members of college can help by:

• Being considerate in your shared kitchen – clean up after yourself.
• If someone has an anaphylactic reaction help them administer their EpiPen and ‘phone 999. Let the porters know: 01223 335700 – so that they can direct paramedics and, as trained first-aiders help.
• A spare EpiPen is kept at the Porters’ Lodge for use in an emergency.

Newnham Anaphylaxis Emergency Guidelines 2021

See these helpful tips for students with allergies

Out of hours and emergency support

If a situation arises in College where you don’t feel safe, you are encouraged to contact an appropriate member of College staff as soon as possible. This may be your Tutor or DoS, the College Nurse or Wellbeing Advisor, the porters or other administrative or academic staff. They will be able to take action to support you.

Most students in College are over 18 and, as adults, have the right to have personal information which they share dealt with confidentially, which means that it will not be passed on without your consent when shared with any College staff.  However, if there are concerns of serious harm to yourself or others then staff may be required to share information without your consent to ensure yours and others safety. This is part of the College’s duty of care, under which we are required to act reasonably to protect your health, safety and welfare.

Concerns about safety often arise outside of the normal working day and so are brought to the Porters in the first instance. So that situations where a student is at risk are appropriately logged and responded to, the Porters usually note their concern via an incident report, which gives an overview – but not details – about the risk you have reported. These reports are typically seen by the Senior Tutor, Postgraduate Tutor, College Nurse, Wellbeing Advisor, and your own Tutor. These staff members are included to ensure concerns for your welfare can be followed up as soon as possible by the most appropriate person. The Porters will, where possible, seek your consent to report their concern, to call support staff or the emergency services if that is necessary. At times, if you lack capacity to consent, they may have to proceed to get help for you anyway. Our priority at all times is your safety.

For information on student safety from the University, the NHS and charities, there is a useful collection of resources here. These include materials you can access both for yourself and if you are worried about a friend.

Please also see here our Emergency Contacts Policy.