- College nurse
- Emotional support and wellbeing
- Alcohol, drugs and smoking
- Healthcare advice and resources
- Where to get treated
- NHS charges
In case of medical emergencies, contact the Porters (31656), who will obtain help as needed, e.g. an ambulance or taxi to go to hospital, or a doctor. Several members of the College staff, including the Porters, are qualified in First Aid. Do accompany a friend who has to go to hospital, but also inform the Tutorial Office and/or the Porters' Lodge as soon as possible.
Feel free to visit the College Nurse, Vicky Few, for advice and treatment. Vicky holds a ‘drop in’ surgery in the College Health Centre at Webb’s Gate at these times during Full Term:
- 8.30am – 1pm Mondays – Fridays
- 3pm – 6pm Tuesdays and Thursdays
She is also open two hours a day (10am - 12 noon) one week either side of Full Term. If you have any queries call 01223 331650 during surgery hours, or email .
The nurse has experience in a wide range of medical, emotional and psychological conditions and can offer advice and support during your time at Cambridge. She liaises with other support services and with the medical practices with which students register. You are encouraged to visit her if you feel unwell, sustain an injury, or have a problem you want to discuss in confidence.
Registering with a doctor. All new students are strongly advised to register with a Cambridge doctor during their first week of residence, and you need to confirm this with the College Nurse. A list of local practices will be posted on the Tutorial notice board. For UK students, it is important to bring your National Health Service card (which may be kept by your parents) with you. Vicky can give you advice on the registration process if you need it.
Student Health Questionnaire. All new students should return their completed Student Health Questionnaire to the College Nurse before coming up to Cambridge. All current students should notify the nurse and the Tutorial Office of any serious or recurrent illness they have had in the past or during a vacation.
Emotional support and wellbeing
- Beat provides helplines, online support and a network of self-help groups to help people beat their eating disorders. Their helpline is 0845 634 1414.
- CAMEO is a group of mental health professionals who provide expert care and support for young people experiencing a first episode of psychosis, helping them to take control, manage their mental health and enjoy life. They are happy for people to phone for a chat.
- Cambridge Student Health is a website that has advice about a range of emotional and mental health concerns.
- Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is an organisation set up to prevent suicide in young men (the great majority of suicide victims are men). They provide information and a helpline: 0800 58 58 58, open 4 days a week, Saturday to Tuesday, 5pm to midnight. Calls are free from landlines, confidential and anonymous.
- The Chaplain. The Chaplain, The Revd Andrew Hammond, is available to every student, regardless of belief or non-belief. You can talk to him about anything which is concerning you, in complete confidence. He has no involvement in either disciplinary or academic matters, so you can speak freely. His room is S1 Bodley’s, and the number there 31418. Otherwise please call his mobile, 07884 185207, at any time.
- Counselling service. The University provides a counselling service as well as a number of help-lines and health services. They can help you with all sorts of issues, including those related to work, identity, as well as personal and relationship problems. You can make an appointment by filling in an online 'pre-counselling form', which enables you to be placed with an appropriate counsellor as quickly as possible.
- CUSU. The Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) has its own support officers. You can find out about them and about other useful resources on the CUSU website.
- Embarrassing Problems helps you deal with those worrying health problems that are difficult to talk about.
- KCSU. A number of students from the KCSU are available to talk to, or to provide specific support for certain issues. These include Welfare and Academic Affairs Officers, Ethnic Minorities, International Students, Womens' Officer, and LGBTQ Officers.
- Linkline is a helpline run nightly from 7pm – 8am by students for students during Full Term. Telephone: 01223 367575 or network (7) 44444.
- Mind is a charity that promotes and protects good mental health. Their website provides information, support and helpline numbers for you to call if you want to talk anything through.
- National Self Harm Network offers advice and support on self harm. You can also find information at thesite.org, Mind and The Royal College of Psychiatrists.
- The Royal College of Psychiatrists has lots of useful leaflets on its website, containing useful advice about a range of mental health problems.
- The Samaritans - Telephone 01223 364455 (Cambridge Branch) for confidential, non-judgmental emotional support, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Always there for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
- Students Against Depression provides advice, support and guidance if you are suffering from depression, or if you know someone who is.
- YoungPAPYRUS has a website, for students by students. It offers useful tips, advice and links to further information to help with some of the lows that may be faced at university. - Telephone 01223 364455 (Cambridge Branch) for confidential, non-judgmental emotional support, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Always there for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
Alcohol, drugs and smoking
The recommended daily alcohol allowance for women is 2-3 units and 3-4 units for men. A unit of alcohol depends on what you're drinking. To work out how many units you're drinking have a look at Drinkaware's alcohol unit calculator. Researchers define binge drinking as having at least 6 units in one session for women and 8 units in one session for men.
Drinkline is a 24-hour helpline to call if you have any concerns for yourself or for a friend: 0800 917 8282. The University Counselling Service also have information and advice about alcohol consumption, as does Drinksense.
The Counselling Service also has advice about drugs. Talk to Frank has a 24-hour helpline where you can get confidential advice (0800 77 66 00), and The Cambridgeshire Drug and Alcohol Action Team provides information, support groups and treatment.
Camquit (Cambridgeshire stop-smoking service) gives advice and help if you want to stop smoking.
Healthcare advice and resources
NHS choices has a health A-Z, which includes information about the most common diseases like flu, glandular fever, and Norovirus (Winter Vomiting Virus). Cambridge Student Health has advice about both emotional and physical wellbeing.
The University Dental Service can provide NHS treatment to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students, and private treatment for staff. You can find other local dentists at NHS Choices. The Dental Health Foundation run a helpline if you want any advice about oral health: 0845 063 1188. This is charged at local UK rates and is open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Disability Resource Centre
The Disability Resource Centre (DRC) exists to provide a confidential, professional, and accessible service to support the needs of disabled students and staff. The DRC supports individuals with any disability, medical matter or injury, including those with:
- learning difficulties (including dyslexia)
- physical impairments and injuries, sensory impairments
- Upper Limb Disorder (ULD) - formerly Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). The Computing service has a good page on this. You can also download free software to remind you when to take a break e.g. Dejal (Mac), Dudeism Relaxation Reminder and Big stretch reminder (PC). For staff, the Occupational Health Service provide information and resources on working with computers.
The Laurels offers a free, confidential service on all aspects of sexual health. They also provide emergency contraception and tests for pregnancy and for sexually transmitted infections. CUSU has information and advice about sexual health. You can also get advice from SHAC (Sexual Health Advice Centre, at Addenbrooke's) and the Family Planning Association (helpline: 0845 122 8690). For free chlamydia tests see www.freetest.me.
Apart from talking to the college nurse you can call PhysioDirect (01480 434 980, Monday-Friday 1pm - 5pm). The physio will diagnose and prescribe exercises over the phone, and make appointments if necessary. Or you can complete a self referral form (available from college nurse). The Cambridge Medical Centre also provides treatment for sports injuries.
Book an appointment with your practice nurse (at your local GP's surgery) to find out which vaccines you need and which are available on the NHS. If you take prescribed medication, find out if it is legal in the country you are visiting and take with you a copy of the prescription / a doctor's letter. Fit for travel offers health advice for travel to different countries. It is also a good idea to check the travel guides for their health advice on the countries you are visiting.
Upper Limb Disorder (ULD) - formerly Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
See the section on the Disability Resource Centre above.
Where to get treated
In working hours you can visit the college nurse, your GP, or one of the specialist centres mentioned above. Out of hours you can get treatment in the following places:
Urgent Care Cambridgeshire (previously CamDoc)
Urgent Care Cambridgeshire provides overnight and weekend treatment and can be contacted on 0330 123 9131. They are based at Chesterton Hospital, Union Lane. Please remember that this service is for conditions that can't wait until your GP practice is open.
Pharmacists can advise on some minor ailments as well as dispense prescriptions. The nearest ones are Lloyds Pharmacy (30 Trumpington St; 10% discount with a student card), Boots (Petty Cury), and Janks (32A Eltisley Avenue). These three also give free 'morning after' pills from their pharmacies.
Addenbrooke's Hospital is on Hills Road (postcode: CB2 0QQ; tel: 01223 245 151). To call a patient in the hospital dial 0704 117 0123, followed by the patient's extension number. Contact the ward directly for information about visiting times and whether flowers can be taken onto the ward. Please note the A&E department is only for genuine emergencies.
Once registered with a GP most treatment with the NHS is free, with the following exceptions:
- Prescription charges
- Dentistry is free for full-time students up to their nineteenth birthday. After that you have to pay subsidised charges.
- Optometry, including glasses and contact lenses
- Students from overseas can register with a GP in the UK and receive free NHS treatment, as long as their course lasts at least 6 months. However, the assessment or treatment under the NHS of any pre-existing condition, apparent or not apparent, before arrival to the UK will cause charges to be incurred. Charges depend on what assessments, investigations and procedures are carried out.
Students from the UK on a low income may qualify for help with certain health costs. Entitlement is based on an assessment of your circumstances, such as level of income, savings, etc. To claim, complete form HC1 'Claim for help with health costs'. Form HC1 can be obtained from the College Nurse or by telephoning 08701 555 455. For further information about help with health costs, see the summary leaflet 'Help with health costs: HC11 student's guide'.