Health and Wellbeing Centre
Head of Welfare & Wellbeing
Girton College employs two nurses, Rachel Lloyd and Jacqui Isbister (located in A corridor), who are available all year round. We can help with your health and welfare needs (such as minor illness and injury, management of long-term conditions, mental health concerns, sexual health advice). We also offer a listening ear and guidance for any queries or concerns for personal and emotional worries.
When the College Nurse is not on duty, if you become ill or injured and need medical help or advice, choose well by using the right NHS service for your needs.
Clinic hours/nurse appointments
Information for the academic year 2023-24:
Nurse hours during term time
|Monday||8:30 am – 2:30 pm||8:00 am – 12:00 pm|
|Tuesday||11:30 am – 5:30 pm||8:00 am – 12:30 pm|
|Wednesday||8:30 am – 2:30 pm||-|
|Thursday||11:30 am – 5:30 pm||-|
|Friday||8:30 am – 2:30 pm||8:00 am - 12:00 pm|
Book on the day appointments:
Please email or call to book an appointment on the day. Students are welcome to drop in but should be aware there may be a wait.
If you are concerned that you have an infection, please speak with the Nurse by phone in the first instance.
Available daily (Monday to Friday, during term time) for support with mental health or ongoing health conditions.
- Book via the PPS online booking system using this link: https://ob.rushcliff.com/holding-page/565304
Nurse hours during the holidays
|Monday||8:30 am – 2:30 pm|
|Tuesday||11:30 am – 5:30 pm|
|Wednesday||8:30 am – 2:30 pm|
|Thursday||11:30 am – 5:30 pm|
|Friday||8:30 am – 2:30 pm|
Please note that during the holidays, availability is subject to change.
Head of Welfare and Wellbeing
Deji is available for urgent enquiries, contact details are:
- Email email@example.com
- Or, please contact with the College Porters (Girton: 01223 338999, Swirles: 01223 760021)
If you need medical help/advice, you can contact:
- The Porters for First Aid advice (01223 338999) or firstname.lastname@example.org, if you are resident in Girton.
- Your local pharmacy for over-the-counter advice.
- Your own GP Surgery or access NHS 111 (available across the UK), either by calling '111' or visiting 'Get help for your symptoms - NHS 111'.
- In more serious cases please attend A&E at Addenbrooke's Hospital (or the A&E nearest to where you are living over the holidays).
- For life threatening emergencies call '999' for an ambulance.
- For Covid queries, see Coronavirus (COVID-19) - NHS (www.nhs.uk).
Other sources of help and support:
- For help in the event of a Mental Health issue please dial 111 and select option 2. This is available in the UK 24 hours a day.
- The Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or visit: Samaritans
- Lifeline: a Cambridgeshire and Peterborough mental health helpline contactable between 11am to 11pm every day on Freephone: 0808 808 2121
- Shout: a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone struggling to cope – text 85258.
The College Nurses respect that all students are entitled to confidentiality and privacy. Any details shared by service users are treated as confidential and you will be asked for your consent before any of your information is passed on (if this is required). As with all other health services the college nurse cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality if there is concern for your safety and wellbeing or for the safety and wellbeing of others. Only in exceptional circumstances will your information be shared without your consent.
Mental Health & Wellbeing
If you would like mental health and wellbeing support, there are a variety of people and resources you can access.
- Speak with the College Nurses. You can book an appointment online or email.
- When appropriate the College Nurses will refer or signpost you onto other services. Any information shared with the College Nurses is kept in strict medical confidence.
- Alternatively you can arrange to meet with your College Tutor.
- Porters are available twenty-four hours a day.
- Make an appointment to see your GP.
- First Response Service:
- This is an urgent mental health service is available in Cambridge for anyone, of any age. You can call 111, select option 2 and speak to a mental health professional 24/7.
- A specialist healthcare professional, 'First Responder' will talk to you and assess your needs.
- Someone may come out to see you or arrange for you to go to The Sanctuary (open 6pm-1am, 7 days a week) which is a safe place providing support for people in crisis.
- Please note that all medical emergencies still need to attend A&E at Addenbrooke's Hospital.
- We can all feel low, anxious or panicky from time to time. If you are concerned, use this simple NHS mood self-assessment tool to check your mood: Depression and anxiety self-assessment quiz
This information below is provided by the College Nurses.
Last updated: October 2022
Most head injuries are not serious, but you should get medical help if you have any symptoms after a head injury. Please be aware that you do not have to sustain a head injury to develop concussion, nor does any injury have to be sports related - there can be many causes. Please seek advice if you are unsure.
- Head injury and concussion - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
- The Concussion Recognition tool (5th edition). Provides guidance of red flags to look out for. (View PDF)
Rugby related head injury
- World Rugby guidance
- To follow a graduated return to physical activity and sports after a head injury, please look at World Rugby Passport - Graduated return to play (GRTP). The College Nurses can support you with this.
Regarding Covid vaccinations, please see https://www.cam.ac.uk/coronavirus/stay-safe-cambridge-uni/vaccination Getting the vaccine saves lives. It protects you, your loved ones, the people you live and work with, and the wider community. Take the vaccine as soon as you can and remember to get both doses.
We ask that you familiarise yourself with current government guidance and adhere to the health and safety measures that are in place within college. We are excited to welcome you to Girton but are also concerned about keeping the whole Girton College community safe and well, including those in the very high/higher risk categories.
You may find it useful to bring the following items with you:
- digital thermometer
- face coverings
- hand sanitiser
- facial tissues
- over the counter medication, e.g. paracetamol.
If you are someone with an increased susceptibility to infectious diseases (ISID), or you have a disability impacted by COVID-19 related social distancing measures, please see Coronavirus | University of Cambridge.
If this applies to you, please arrange an appointment with the nurses so we can discuss further.
The Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre (ADRC) offers a confidential and accessible service for all disabled students supporting access to your teaching and learning during your time at Cambridge. We are a student-centred service, committed to supporting disabled students to achieve to their academic potential.
Please make the nurses aware of any allergies you have. We recommend that if you do have allergies, that you carry any medication with you (having checked this is the correct does and in date).
This is a useful link on managing allergies whilst at universty: https://www.anaphylaxis.org.uk/living-with-serious-allergies/going-to-university/
Drug and Alcohol Service, Cambridge, is a local service aimed at improving the outcomes for individuals, children, young people, families and communities affected by the misuse of alcohol and drugs in Cambridgeshire.
Their website provides up to date information of help and support locally, resources to download & the latest news relating to drugs and alcohol.
Frank helps you find out everything you might want to know about drugs (and some stuff you don't). For friendly, confidential drugs advice, Talk to frank.
- Call: 0300 123 66000 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year
- Text: 82111
- Email via website form: https://www.talktofrank.com/contact
Drinkaware is an independent charity working to reduce alcohol misuse and harm in the UK. Drinkaware aims to help people make better choices about alcohol.
Some students are eligible for help with health costs on the grounds of low income (not just because you are a student). If you qualify for support, you can apply by completing a HC1 form. You will then receive help towards the costs of NHS prescriptions, NHS dental care, sight tests, glasses and contact lenses.
You can apply for a HC1 form online or collect one from your GP surgery or dentist.
- Encompass Network, is an established LGBT+ network in the City of Cambridge holding social events along with working to improve community and liberation for the LGBT+ people in Cambridge.
- The Kite Trust - Cambridgeshire organisation offering free support for LGBT+ people under the age of 25. Includes one-to-one support and social groups
- LGBT Foundation - Tel: 0345 3 30 30 30 or email: email@example.com. Advice and support in relation to LGBT issues.
- Switchboard - LGBT+ helpline, Tel: 0300 330 0630 Open 10:00-22:00 every day. Chat support. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Trevor Project - provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services and information to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.
Please ensure any injury is first reviewed by your GP or at Hospital (depending on the type of injury – the College Nurses may be able to advise you on this).
A local physio available to support students is Luke Bowman who can be contacted by Email or by calling +44 (0)7399 499959. The College Nurses can signpost you to other support locally.
The following site has useful advice and exercise information to download at: https://www.eoemskservice.nhs.uk/advice-and-leaflets
As a new student you should register with a Cambridge GP as soon as you can when you first arrive in the city. This way you can receive emergency care if you need it and access health services quickly and easily while you're at university. This is especially important if you have an ongoing health condition such as asthma, allergies, diabetes and epilepsy.
Cambridge GPs are experienced in dealing with students, and also in working with the University and Colleges. This is important if you are ill in the lead up to, or during your examinations and you need special exam arrangements or allowances to be made.
If students do not register, this has a negative impact on local GP funding and provision of normal medical services as well as emergency medicines during outbreaks such as Covid-19. A visit to A&E is for emergencies only, for example a severe injury. For most medical problems, the first port of call is your GP. Outside normal working hours, ring NHS 111 or your GP’s telephone number and you will be put through to the out of hours GP service.
Although students are not permitted to register with both a Cambridge GP and one at home, you can register in Cambridge in term time and see your home GP during the vacations by completing a temporary resident form, or by simply re-registering with your home GP. When required, Cambridge GPs are used to liaising with other Practices and Hospitals across the country and to sharing student records. If you need them, hospital appointments should not be affected as you can elect to be seen at any hospital.
You can choose to register with any local GP, although your college may suggest a Practice close by. Details of how to register with a GP are on the NHS website together with contact details of Cambridge GPs: How to register with a GP surgery - NHS
Please note: that the postcode for the main Girton site is CB3 0JG. For Swirles Court, the postcode is CB3 1AQ. This information is useful when trying to find a GP nearest to you.
Information for students: Getting medical care as a student - NHS
NHS 111 is the NHS non-emergency number. You should use NHS 111 online or call them when you need medical help or advice urgently but it's not a life-threatening situation, such as:
- you need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency
- you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service
- you don't know who to call or you don't have a GP to call
- you need health information or reassurance about what to do next
Calling 111 will connect you to a team of fully trained call advisers, supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. They will ask you questions to assess your symptoms, and give you healthcare advice or direct you to the local service that can help you best. That could be A&E, the out-of-hours medical service, an emergency dentist or a late-opening chemist etc.
Where possible, the NHS 111 team will book you an appointment or transfer you directly to the people you need to speak to.
If NHS 111 advisers think you need an ambulance, they will immediately arrange for one to be sent to you.
Information on health concerns, self-help and support organisations and local health services:
- NHS Website
- Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - Addenbrookes and Rosie Hospital.
- Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust - local community services.
- Addenbrooke's Accident and Emergency (A & E) Addenbrooke's Hospital - Hills Road, Cambridge. Tel: +44 (0)1223 217118
- Urgent Care Cambridgeshire - Overnight and at weekends
- Urgent Care Cambridgeshire provide the out of hours GP service. They are based at Chesterton Hospital, Union Lane.
- Please remember that this service is for conditions which cannot wait until your GP practice is open. Out of hours GP service Tel: +44 (0)330 123 9131
iCaSH (integrated Contraception & Sexual Health services), is a national service providing all aspects of sexual health, including contraception, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) testing and treatment and genito-urinary medicine (GUM), All iCaSH services are self-referral, which means that a GP referral letter is not necessary.
For services in Cambridge, see: iCaSH Cambridgeshire
Their contact details are: Lime Tree Clinic, Brookfield’s Hospital, 351 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 3DF. Tel: +44 (0)300 300 3030.
The service is free, confidential and non-judgemental.
- For STI testing at home: Click here to order a simple, free and easy to use home STI Test kit
Supplies available in College
- Free condoms, lubrication and sexual health information are available from the Health & Wellbeing Centre's waiting room (Corridor A, Girton College). The waiting room door is always open.
- Information includes leaflets on Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) - NHS (www.nhs.uk) and Your contraception guide - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
- Pregnancy tests are also available from the College Nurse who will perform the test and support you with this.
Other sources of information:
The University Counselling Service offers support – see link: Sexual harassment and violence advice - University Counselling Service (cam.ac.uk)
Alternatively, you can contact: SARC - Sexual Assault Referral Centre, The Elms, Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Hinchingbrooke Park, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE29 6NT. Tel: +44 (0)800 193 5434
You can also contact the College Nurse.
Useful checklist and information regarding vaccinations:
For Covid vaccination guidance, please see: Vaccination - University of Cambridge
Are you protected against preventable infectious diseases?
It’s important that your vaccinations are up to date before you come to Cambridge. If you don’t have a record of your immunisations, please contact your GP Surgery, and ask for a printout of your immunisation history. Check whether you have received the required vaccinations or need a TB test.
Students are strongly advised to have the Men ACWY conjugate vaccination before arriving in Cambridge.
- Meningitis Leaflet (PDF)
- A Student's Meningitis Story - Meningitis Now
First year university students are an ‘at risk’ group for meningitis. Please check out the signs and symptoms or download the Meningitis Now app to ensure you have help and information at your fingertips. Other information can be found here:
Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR)
Students are strongly advised to have two doses of the MMR vaccination before arriving.
International students arriving from certain countries will be required to undertake a TB test as part of their visa application.
If you suffer from chronic lung, heart, kidney or liver disease, have diabetes or are otherwise immunosuppressed, you should already be offered a free annual flu jab.
It would be sensible to consider having a ‘flu vaccine as the symptoms of seasonal ‘flu are similar to COVID-19. If you don’t qualify for a free ‘flu vaccine you can pay to have one at a pharmacy such as Boots, Lloyds or Superdrug. The cost is approximately £15.00 - £20.00, and you can book an appointment online.
In some countries it is difficult to arrange the Meningitis ACWY or MMR vaccinations. If this is the case, once you have registered with Huntingdon Road Surgery you can ‘phone and request an appointment to have the vaccination. MMR and Meningitis ACWY vaccination is free for students aged 25 years and under.