St John's offers a supportive environment to its students

Nursing Team

Welcome to the Health & Wellbeing Centre page.

The Health & Wellbeing Centre has two Registered Nurses and there is usually at least one on site Monday-Friday between 0830 and 1630 except when the Health Centre is closed over the Christmas period (24 December to 2 January inclusive) and the August Bank Holiday weekend. The Centre is located in B2 North Court: Map available

You can contact either nurse via: Health&

Ruth Dean, College Nurse, can be reached via, telephone 01223 338664

Karen Miles, Health & Wellbeing Nurse, can be reached via or telephone 01223 747162

Ruth Dean

The College Nurses are able to provide a listening ear, and can support and advise on a wide variety of physical, mental health and welfare problems. We will signpost to local services and advocate when required. 

Confidentiality and record keeping

The nurses exercise their duty of confidentiality to all students and we respect your right to privacy. Information shared with the Health & Wellbeing Centre staff is kept strictly confidential; as with all health care environments. Sharing information without consent would only occur in exceptional circumstances, on a 'need to know' basis; ideally we would ask your consent but there are certain circumstances when this may not be possible-such as: serious threat of harm to yourself or others, or if a serious crime has been committed. 

Student health records are stored electronically and are only available to the health and wellbeing centre staff, and they are processed in accord with current health and personal data protection regulations.

For further information please see: PPS Hosted information

If you would like to know more about this or to discuss opting out of electronic records process, please contact either nurse.


Karen Miles
Making appointments

Monday-Friday only. There is a selection of times available to book here - however, if you would like a different time please ask, we will try and accommodate in the usual working times of the centre. The default is to see you in person, but Zoom/Teams/phone calls can be arranged if you prefer. We cannot make telephone calls to non UK telephone numbers. We discourage "drop ins", however, if you need to see us immediately due to an acute problem please do knock on the door. 

For urgent issues and out of hours, contact  NHS 111, local GP/Doctor and other resources. 

Ruth is the College's Disability Liaison Officer and should be your first port of call if you have a diagnosed disability and require further support or information. Ruth will work with the Disability Resource Centre, your GP, your Tutor and other members of College staff to ensure all the support available is offered. 

If you are contacting either Nurse via email please note that a reply will only be made during usual working hours and there may be a delay in responding to emails because of clinical commitments.

If you need immediate or urgent advice please use the NHS 111 service, your GP when in the UK or other appropriate services if overseas.

Ruth Dean direct telephone line: 01223 338664

Karen Miles direct telephone line 01223 747162

(The answerphone is checked intermittently during the normal working week and there may be a delay in response if we are consulting).

There will be at least one nurse available on site over the vacation periods and the opening times are unchanged. Making appointments remains the same as in term time. In person appointments are now the default, however, if you are not on site in the vacation then Zoom/Teams calls can be made. However, we can only call UK telephone numbers. 


The Royal College of Nursing states that "All patients should have the right, if they wish, to have a chaperone present during an examination, procedure, treatment or any care irrespective of organisational constraints or settings in which this is carried out"

We support this and you are therefore welcome to bring someone with you to your consultation, or if both nurses are on duty it may be possible that both can be present during the consultation  if requested.  Please discuss any concerns you have with us.

Infectious diseases including Covid 19 / Coronavirus  

As we live in a close community in college, it is very important to ensure you are fully vaccinated against Meningitis(ACWY), Mumps, measles, rubella (MMR), Tuberculosis (TB), Influenza (flu) and Coronavirus (C19). Your GP will be able to arrange vaccinations for you. If you are over 25 there may be a charge. Flu vaccines can be obtained via local pharmacies- they usually cost around £12 unless you are specifically eligible for a free flu vaccine. Your GP will contact you to book an appointment. 

It is very important that you still remain vigilant for the symptoms of flu/Covid 19 or other respiratory illnesses and follow the NHS and College guidance promptly to prevent spread to others. The current advice can be found here. There will be a seasonal Covid 19 vaccination programme in the Autumn/Winter for people with certain health conditions, similar to the flu campaign. Your GP will contact you to make an appointment. More information is here.

The latest guidance from the UK Govt is here 

Meningitis information and when to get help.

TB information.



Other help 

Locations of Emergency Medical Equipment

The link above is to a map that shows the location of first aid equipment and defibrillators available in College. The College has identified key staff who have received first aid at work training and as such, should be able to give initial response to incidents when the above equipment may be required, a staff member may also offer advice on follow up care or seek further medical support depending on the presenting circumstances. 

If you need medical advice when the Health & Wellbeing Centre is closed contact the Porters' Lodges (tel. 01223 338600) or your own GP Surgery.

If you need help when your GP Surgery is closed please call NHS 111 which is the NHS 24 hour health advice/management line. This service can assist with physical (option 1) and mental health issues (option 2, see below)

After a triage assessment they will be able to schedule appropriate GP/Dental Appointments or direct you to other services as deemed appropriate.

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis please call the First Response Service via NHS 111 and select option 2 - this service is available 24/7 and is manned by skilled mental health professionals who can help you access appropriate assessment and treatment services in the local area.

For life threatening emergencies please call 999 and ensure you tell the porters if an ambulance attends College. The nearest A&E Emergency Department is located at Addenbrookes Hospital, Hills Rd, Cambridge. This is for serious emergencies only such as; burns, stroke, heart attacks etc where there are risks of loss of life or limb. 

Remember the Porters are on duty 24/7 and can offer a listening ear or assist you to access further help.


The University Counselling Service run group workshops each term and these may be particularly useful. Please see further information below. 

The University runs Mindfulness Courses, available through each term. 

The workshops are run as lunch time 'drop in' , 'Drop-in' Q&A  or an 8-week course.

The current timetable can be accessed online

To book you must have a Raven ID and password, courses are very popular so do sign up quickly.


Useful links and documents

Student Wellbeing pages, gives information and advice about the services in Colleges and Depts. 

The Student Guide to Using NHS Services in Cambridge contains useful information and guidance about self care, NHS 111, pharmacies and other support available in Cambridgeshire.

Brene Brown video: Empathy rather than sympathy 




Health Information

Health Information

NHS Choices
  • If you become unwell or are injured make sure you choose the right NHS service to make sure you get the best treatment.  


General Practitioners

ALL students studying in the UK for more than 6 months should register at a Doctors/General Practitioner Practice.

Please discuss with the College Nurse as soon as possible if you do not wish to register, or have any questions about the health service in the UK.

Once registered please inform student services of which practice you have chosen. 

The following GP Surgeries are within a short distance of College:


You may register at any of the above practices by using the links and completing the online registration forms. Information re making appointments are on the websites and most now operate online appointment requests.

Overnight and at weekends NHS 111 provide access to the out of hours' GP service and can be contacted on 111 or via your GP surgery's number. They are usually based at Chesterton Hospital, Union Lane. Please remember that this service is for conditions which cannot wait until your GP practice is open.

If you are feeling unwell it is a good idea to let the Porter’s Lodge know so that relevant help/people can be informed if necessary.

Local hospital


A&E or 999

In an extreme emergency the nearest Accident & Emergency Department is at Addenbrooke's Hospital. An extreme emergency is a condition such as a suspected broken bone, road accident, a severe wound that requires stitching, suspected heart attack or any other life threatening condition. Please use this service appropriately!

To contact the emergency services (fire, police or ambulance) telephone 999. You should only call 999 in an emergency, state where you are, what the problem is and please alert the Porters of the emergency, to help deliver care and to ensure that the emergency services are promptly directed when necessary.

NHS Information

For information on health concerns, self-help and support organisations, local health services including finding a local NHS dentist.

  • NHS 111 - a 24 hour NHS advisory
  • NHS 111 - option 2 for a mental health crisis 



If you have any allergies and require medication please alert the College Nurse of your diagnosis. A list of students with severe allergies (Anaphylaxis) is compiled by the College Nurse to ensure catering and First Aiders are aware of the potential risks of a life-threatening reaction. 

You must carry your own adrenaline devices with you at all times. It is good practice to tell friends or flat-mates about your allergies and that you have an auto-injector. Make sure you replenish your devices prior to when they expire. You will be able to get them on prescription from your GP. College first aiders are trained to assist an individual in the use of these devices.

The Anaphylaxis Campaign has advice on how to manage your condition and videos to remind you how to use your auto injectors. (Epipen,Jext,Emerade)


The College has five Automated External Defibrillators for use in the event of a cardiac arrest. These are located in the Forecourt Lodge, Northampton Street Lodge, The Great Gate Lodge, the Boathouse and at the pavilion on the playing fields:

Map of Emergency Medical Equipment

  • NHS in England - Dentists. Beware - it is difficult to register as an NHS patient with dentists in Cambridge. Consider staying registered with your home dentist
  • For emergency dental care telephone 01223 723093 (weekdays only) and 111 out of hours.

The ADRC can offer a wide range of services for students and staff who identify with a disability. The ADRC takes self referrals only via an online form. If you require further support before deciding to self-refer please talk to either Nurse or your Tutor.  

Counselling and Mental Health


Eating Disorders - for information and help


Foreign Travel Information


Physiotherapy and sports injuries

Reform Physio provides the physio service which is available during term time only at a new location- Jesus College, Library Court 1, room 4.  Students can book via Moodle or through one of the nurses in the Health & Wellbeing Centre. Payment is by bank transfer. Staff and Fellows can also book to see the physio by contacting the nurses. Again payment is by bank transfer/or bank card only.

NHS Free Service.

Physio Direct is an NHS telephone self-referral service available to anyone registered with a Cambridge GP. If you have an acute or chronic joint or soft tissue problem ring 0300 555 0210 Monday-Friday 13.00-17.00. The physiotherapist will make a diagnosis and prescribe exercises over the phone (call usually takes 10-15 minutes). An appointment or follow up advice will be offered if necessary. Alternatively you can complete a self referral form available at your GP Surgery or via their website.

Private physiotherapists or chiropractors can also be found locally via a search engine. 

Sexual Health and Contraception

For comprehensive information on sexual health and to book online sexual health appointments at iCASH 


Websites for General Health Information and Advice
Stay Safe on a Night Out
This video contains useful advice about staying safe during a night out in Cambridge.

Cambridge is a relatively safe place, but usual precautions should be taken, particularly when travelling after dark.

  •  - Avoid travelling alone. Stay in groups or pairs and have a mobile phone with charge and credit with you.
  •  - Do not consume alcohol beyond your usual safe limits and if you are not used to drinking pace yourself and trust your instincts.
  •  - Plan your route before you leave.
  •  - Be aware of places you can drop in to if you feel unsafe-such as Porters Lodges, and public places. Please see map - a Bowler Hat indicates where a Lodge is, though bear in mind they may not all be open 24 hours a day. 
  •  - If you feel your drink may have been spiked, tell someone (ambulance, security or bar staff) and get help quickly-do not attempt to leave on your own.
  •  - Report any unusual or suspicious behaviour to College and/or the Police telephone 999 for an emergency, or 101 for non-emergency, Or anonymously  through Crimestoppers  via telephone 0800 555 111   
  •  - If you believe an incident or crime has occurred, but are not sure you want to report it to the police, talk to a non-judgemental professional as soon as possible-College Nurse, GP, Chaplain, Tutor or outside agency such as:

- Samaritans    
- Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)   
- Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre 

- The University Counselling Service now has a dedicated Sexual Assault and Violence Support    

Mental Health Out of Hours Support

JCR Mental Health postcard - front

Mental health wellbeing poster

College Counsellor

 Counselling Services for Students.

Counselling can be helpful for all kinds of difficulties and is available to help you with any personal or psychological issues which are having an impact on your ability to study or to make the most of student life. 

Major changes have occurred in the provision of counselling services for the students of Cambridge University. If you wish to seek counselling therapy, please make an appointment with the College Nurses to discuss in more detail and be signposted to the most appropriate service.

The wait list for appointments at the UCS is no longer than 10 working days from referral and as quickly as 2 days after an enquiry. Find more information about the  University Counselling Service.

The College Counsellor provides a free and confidential counselling service as an adjunct to the UCS but is not the first line service for St John's students because of the above changes. Should you wish to speak to Jen, please contact the College nurses via the contact details above or booking in via Moodle.
Jen continues to support the students already on her case load.

Jennifer Cooper, College Counsellor, can be reached via

J Cooper



The College Counsellor is in College on Wednesdays, 10am-7pm, and on Fridays, 8am-3pm. Jen manages her own diary

Appointments must be booked in advance. There are no ‘drop in’ appointments available.

Other sources of support

If you need to speak to someone about a personal or psychological issue more urgently please either speak to your Tutor, one of the College Nurses, your GP, or try one of the organisations below.

  • University Counselling Service

The University Counselling Service (UCS) is available to all University of Cambridge students. The UCS website also has lots of self-help information and advice as well as links to sources of help for a range of issues. Resources for mental health and wellbeing available from the Student Support service.

  • The Psychological Wellbeing Service

The Psychological Wellbeing Service (part of IAPT, an NHS initiative) can offer support to those aged 17 or over via a range of brief supported self-help and talking therapy options. You can self-refer to the service or ask to be referred by your GP. 

  • First Response Service

This is an NHS service which offers urgent support for people in mental health or emotional crisis. It provides 24-hour access, seven days a week to mental health care, support and advice. Call 111, select option 2 and speak to a mental health professional.


  • The Elms

The Elms Sexual Assault Referral Centre offers free support and practical help to anyone in Cambridgeshire who has experienced sexual abuse or sexual violence either recently or in the past.

Clients can refer themselves without having to involve the Police, it is not necessary for a report to have been made in order to access their services. Their service is completely confidential and you do not have to give any personal information in order to get help.

Tel: 0800 193 5434 (9am – 5pm)
Out of Hours Help Line: 0800 193 5434

  • The Samaritans

The Samaritans is available to anyone going through a difficult time or feeling distressed and needs someone to talk to.
Free 24-hour helpline: 116 123

You can also visit the local Cambridge branch. More info at: 

  • Nightline

Nightline is the night-time listening support and information service for Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin Universities, run by students for students. Support available by telephone or Skype from 7pm to 7am any night of the CU full term. Their Instant Messaging service is available from 7pm to midnight. 
Tel: 01223 744444


The Chaplain

The Chaplain of the College is The Rev'd Andrew Hammond.

Andrew is part of the primary welfare provision for the Junior Members of College, ie undergraduate and graduate students. He is available to all members and staff of college. He may be contacted at any time: either by calling at  A8 New Court, or on 07917 535940.

Andrew’s approach is to be an utterly non-judgmental, wholly confidential listener. He will offer advice if that is sought. He is also very alert to situations where it is appropriate to offer referral to a mental health professional. He is available to everyone, whatever their religious convictions.

Brief biography

Andrew was an undergraduate at Clare College, and then worked in classical music for nearly twenty years: first as a singer, then in arts administration. He was ordained in 2007, and has worked in two London parishes and at St Paul’s Cathedral. Before coming to St John’s he was Chaplain at King’s College.

The Rev'd Andrew Hammond
Spiritual Care

Andrew is a Church of England priest, so is happy to talk about any spiritual or religious matter. He also helps prepare people for baptism, confirmation and marriage.

Pastoral Care (Student Welfare)

The Dean & Chaplain supports the College welfare structures by offering college members someone who will listen to their concerns, help them examine situations, offer advice or signpost. Andrew has no expectation that those who see him will have religious or Christian commitments, all are very welcome.

Contact Details

Tel: 01223 338617
Internal tel: 38617
Address: A8 New Court.

Student Unions

JCR (Student Union)

All junior members of College, including the Graduates, are members of the Junior Combination Room or JCR.

'JCR' also refers to the common room in the Fisher Building, and is also a colloquial name for the JCRC, the committee that represents the JCR. The committee is elected in February and any undergraduates can stand for any position.

The JCR Committee is an elected body of students who represent undergraduates in College to the College authorities. They work to improve College for the students, and are always eager for students’ suggestions as to how this can be achieved. They also help play a role in looking after students with a Welfare and Equal Opportunities Officer, and they organise the Ents and Freshers week – a fun-packed week full of ice-breaking activities that help settle Freshers into College life.

The JCR has its own website.

SBR (Graduate Union)

The Samuel Butler Room is the name of the graduate union at St John's, as well as the name of the common room it looks after. The society is run by the graduate community of the College to promote social, intellectual and sporting activities for its members.


The rooms, close to the main entrance to the College, are for the exclusive use of all graduates and their guests. The rooms are used for social gatherings and as a common room for members. The SBR website can be found at