Health and wellbeing

Our College Nurse 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.


Out of hours and emergency support

Please see out of hours resources and emergency contact details for both physical and mental health problems.

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 and College Counsellor 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.

College Nurse

Our College Nurse 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.

Due to Covid-19 the College Nurse is having to adapt how she provides care for students. To ensure safety all round, if you feel unwell or need advice you can book a Zoom appointment on Moodle. The College Nurse will be free to take phone calls in the first half hour of clinic or you can always email. Following a phone call or Zoom appointment, if the College Nurse feels that you need to be seen in person she will arrange an appointment time with you or advise you to contact Newnham Walk Surgery. You will be required to wear a face mask when entering the Health Centre and use the hand sanitiser available.
Our College Nurse works part-time but is in College/available daily Monday-Friday during Full Term. All information disclosed to the College Nurse is kept in strict medical confidence. No information will be shared with other parties without prior consent except in extreme circumstance.

For contact details and current clinic times, please see College Nurse Information

Book an appointment with the nurse

Newnham College Health Records – GDPR statement

Newnham College – Nurse Confidentiality Statement

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.

Many people sort out problems by talking to friends, family or staff in their College or Department. Some of you will wish to speak to the Chaplain, who is, as he says, available to ‘students of all faiths, or none’; he can be reached at .

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 have access to lots of counselling resources. There are three main strands, as follows:

1. College and College-based (UCS) Counsellors

Newnham College provides a free and confidential College-Based Counselling service for all undergraduate and postgraduate students registered at the College.

Our College Counsellor, Elrika Erasmus, is available for appointments during term time, and will follow the same guidelines as the College Nurse. Please email for an appointment with Elrika Erasmus:
Term time hours:
Michaelmas: until Monday 15th Dec 2020
Lent: Thursday 7th January 2021 – Monday 29th March 2021
Easter: Thursday 15th April 2021 – Monday 21st June 2021

Mondays 9:00am – 4:00pm
Thursdays 9:00am – 3:00pm

Our College-based UCS Counsellor, Fran Patrick, is available for appointments during Full Term. College-Based Counselling is a scheme at the University Counselling Service and subject to the same policies and procedures, including confidentiality. For an appointment with Fran Patrick, please use this link:

Full Term hours:
In 2020-21: Tues 6 Oct – Fri 4 Dec; Tues 19 Jan – Fri 19 Mar; Tue 27 Apr – Fri 18 Jun
Tuesdays 9:00am -5:00 pm

To arrange a counselling assessment appointment with Fran Patrick at Newnham, please complete the ‘Student Pre-Counselling Form’ on the UCS secure website (which you reach via the link above). On the second page, PLEASE ensure you indicate that you are a member of Newnham by choosing the specified drop-down option. The form is intended to be thought-provoking, but you do not need to give long answers; you can also put “I would prefer to talk about this in person” if it is difficult to write about. Kindly note that you would not be able to access both College counsellors at the same time.

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 counsellors. On Tuesdays during term, two weekly one-off drop-in sessions are available to all students at Newnham who have concerns about their emotional well-being. The sessions are short appointments, which last for around 30 minutes. They provide an opportunity for students to talk confidentially about their concerns and to find out more about the emotional support available.

Students can reserve a Drop-In appointment by emailing UCS Counselling Reception at
UCS counsellors are available Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm throughout the year except for brief closures at Christmas and Easter. Reception hours and evening opening may be reduced at certain times during the summer period.

This is how you contact the UCS.

UCS has a very useful self-help page

3. Health Assured

Newnham has signed up to a service provided by Health Assured. They are available 24/7, 365 days of the year, and offer the option to speak to an experienced BACP accredited Counsellor who will be able to provide help and support in a friendly, knowledgeable and non-judgmental way.

To contact Health Assured, just ring 0800 028 3766.

Note: If you would like to speak to a BAME counsellor, there are options via all three routes as follows:

1. The College has signed up with a firm called JHD Counselling who have BAME counsellors available. To be referred to JHD Counselling, please ask one of the following to refer you:

Thanuja Galhena <> (Adviser to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Students)
Elrika Erasmus <> (College Counsellor)
Victoria Argent <> (Tutorial & Admissions Office Manager)
Anne Schumann <> (College Nurse)

2. The University Counselling Service has BAME counsellors available, so simply contact UCS: above.

3. Health Assured also has BAME counsellors available, so contact them as above.

University Good Life Project

CPSL Mind (Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire Mind) have launched a couple of new initiatives focusing on University students. The University Good Life Project (funded by Primary Care Network) offers free informal well-being support in ‘Good Mood Cafes’ Thursdays 2-3pm (10-15 students per session on Zoom) and aims to provide a positive safe space with messages for self-care. ‘Open Door Calm Spaces’ offer sessions on mindfulness and relaxation techniques. They also provide a series of courses to students on well-being awareness and ‘Tools and Techniques’.

Allergies in College

College has been informed (Oct 2019) that it is not currently legal to hold Adrenaline Auto-injectors (AAI) (often known as Epi-pens) for un-named individuals for emergency use. This means that College will no longer be able to keep spare generic Adrenaline Auto-injectors. As the law was changed in 2017 to allow schools to hold AAIs for un-named individuals for emergency use, we hope that the law will be extended to cover higher educational institutions.

For now, if you carry an AAI 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 know what to do in an emergency.

See these helpful tips for students with allergies