Health, Welfare and Disability

Student health and welfare is a top priority at Somerville, and the level of pastoral support is high.

Many College staff play a part in ensuring student well-being, including the College Doctor and Nurse. All students have a Personal Tutor with whom they can discuss any problems, both academic and personal. The Academic Registrar and Senior Tutor can offer advice and practical support. In addition, each student has an annual meeting with the Principal, which is an opportunity to discuss academic and non-academic matters alike.

Somerville students are generally very supportive of each other. The JCR Welfare Officers’ doors are always open to students with any sort of problem, as are those of the Peer Supporters (whose members are trained by the University Counselling Service).

The Academic Registrar co-ordinates welfare provision in the college and provides welfare support to students during office hours. The Dean and the Junior Deans oversee non-academic student discipline, and provide welfare support to students outside of office hours.

The Junior Deans live in College, and one of them is on call every evening, night and weekend during full term. They are available to provide guidance and support, and to ensure that the needs and interests of the College, and of all the College members, are respected. Deans’ Regulations & Decanal Disciplinary Procedure explains students’ obligations as members of the College community.

For more information on the college’s welfare procedure please see:

JCR & MCR Welfare Booklet

Welfare Support – A Guide for students

Policy on Confidentiality and circulation of welfare related information

College Harassment Policy

We would also like to direct your attention to the University Counselling Service, open to all students, which is just round the corner from Somerville. Visit its Web page here.

The Academic Registrar is the College Disability contact. Please contact her at jo.ockwell@some.ox.ac.uk if you have any questions relating to disability. The College’s Disability Lead is the Senior Tutor. The college operates within the Common Framework for Supporting Disabled Students. Students can also contact the Disability Advisory Service for advice about a range of issues and also regarding the Disabled Students’ Allowance.

General medical care

You will be eligible to seek some medical care from the National Health Service (NHS), the State-run service covering all aspects of health. Depending on your residency status, you may not be eligible to access all services provided by the NHS. Information on the NHS is available at http://www.nhs.uk/aboutnhs. If you have medical concerns, your first port of call will probably be one of our College Doctors, Dr Helen Steel, Dr Evelyn Sanderson and Dr Paul Ch’en, who are based at the Jericho Health Centre (www.gpjerichotwo.co.uk). A College Nurse also holds consulting sessions at Somerville every day during term time.

Dental treatment

The College has agreed limited dental cover with:

David Le Tocq, 31 Beaumont Street, Oxford, OX1 2NZ

Tel: +44 (0)1865 557 507

This agreement will only provide for emergency treatment at a special rate for students, which is on a par with NHS rates. All other dental work provided by Dr Le Tocq will be at the request of individuals, who will be fully liable for all costs at private rates. Students who are already registered with an NHS dentist are therefore urged to retain that registration, and to undergo dental treatment at their home surgery during vacation periods. There is also a Studental dental practice based at Oxford Brookes University which takes NHS patients. Further details can be obtained from the practice’s website at http://www.studental.co.uk.

Cycling safety

Cycling in Oxford is a very good idea as it’s often the fastest way of getting round the city and research has shown that the more people cycle, the safer it becomes. Please visit http://think.direct.gov.uk/cycling.html and www.bikeregister.com for more information about how to keep yourself and your bike safe.

Personal security

Safety and well-being are taken very seriously at Oxford. Advice on personal and property crime prevention, staying safe on nights out and who to contact in an emergency is available on the Oxford Students website. In particular, you are reminded to:

  • Register personal possessions that have serial numbers such as laptops, mobile phone and cameras on Immobilise, the National Property Register.
  • Put laptops in a locked drawer when they are not being used, even if you just leave the room briefly, particularly if your room is on the ground floor and your desk is near an open window.
  • Back up work on a USB stick which is kept in a separate location, or use a cloud-based storage facility such as DropBox, Microsoft Cloud or iCloud.
  • Consider using a tracking service in case any of your devices are stolen, such as Prey Project.

Security Services can be reached 24 hours a day at 01865 (2)72944 or (2)89999 in an emergency. Incidents can also be reported online on the Security Services website (https://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/ouss).