Health, safety and welfare

From finding a doctor and welfare support to emergency procedures in the case of fire, accident or loss please consult the information below.

Medical help - doctor, nurse, dentist

The College Doctors, Dr Deborah Waller and Dr Richard Silvester, are members of the practice at 19 Beaumont Street (tel. 240501).

It is compulsory for all full-time students to register with a doctor in Oxford; we advise students to register with the practice at 19 Beaumont Street but students who choose to register with a different practice should inform the Academic Office of this. Students from overseas who are in the UK for less than six months are not eligible for free treatment under the National Health Service and should take out insurance against the cost of medical treatment.

The College Nurse, Carolyn Ruhle,  is available in a room near the Okinaga Room during term from Mondays to Fridays. (Monday 10.30-1pm; Tuesday 10.30-12.30; Wednesday 10.30-12.30; Thursday 12.30-3pm; Friday 12.30-3pm).  The nurse can give general advice on health matters and will see anyone who is unwell or needs treatment. In an emergency, you may contact the nurse (and/or the College Doctor) via the Lodge or by email (

Flu Pandemic
In the event of a flu pandemic, all students are required to have an emergency pack containing supplies of essential items such as paracetamol, tissues, anti-bacterial wipes and a thermometer. The College, in collaboration with the University, has a flu pandemic plan in place.

You are strongly advised to remain registered with your home dentist. However, students may use ‘Studental’ at Brookes University (01865 484608). This is an NHS service available to undergraduates and graduates, but please note there is a charge for NHS Dentistry. Temple Street Dental Practice (01865 922111) also see NHS patients.

Welfare support

Welfare Advisor Emma-Ben Lewis provides individual welfare support to students and assists in co-ordinating welfare provision within the College. The Welfare Advisor will be available for confidential meetings in the Nurse’s Room and you can arrange an appointment over email (


The Chaplain provides a confidential listening ear on any matter, and is available for the pastoral care of all members of College regardless of their religious affiliation. (The Chaplain’s room is 3.1, tel. 2-77905 or email

The Welfare Dean is elected from amongst the Fellowship of the College to support the broader welfare team and, in consultation with other concerned college officers, take the lead in formulating student welfare policy and addressing individual cases of difficulty. They are also designated as the College’s Child Protection Officer, and responsible for the College’s Code of Practice on Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults

The Peer Supporters are students at Wadham who are trained by the University Counselling Service in listening skills. They are bound by a confidentiality policy set by the Student Union and, are available to either let people talk through situations or problems which are on their mind, or to refer them on to more specialist organisations or individuals. The current Peer Supporters are:
Louise Drognat-Landre
Jess Gillard
Zainab Majid
Katie McCay
Avishek Mondal
Andy Mummery
Naomi Thapar

The Peer Supporters may be contacted any time via email, or by telephone and they are more than happy to arrange to meet people in confidence. The Peer Supporters also run informal ‘drop-in’ surgeries from 1700-1800 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays in the Peer Support Room, Staircase 28, Room 1. Please contact for more details.

Please also bear in mind other sources of support at Wadham, including College Officers, Sub-Deans and of course the college GP. We know that different people may find different sources of support effective or helpful at different times. 

The Tutor for Women, Judy Stephenson, deals with issues, problems or queries relating particularly to the life of women students in College, including academic, social, and personal problems. She liaises with the Wadham Students’ Union Women’s Officer and with Tutors for Women in other Colleges.

The University Counselling Service (tel. 2-70300) and the Harassment Advisory Panel (tel. 2-70760) offer help and advice completely independent of the College. View the College Harassment Policy and Procedure here.

Harassment Officers for the College:
Wendy Wale: (Room St. 3, Room 1, tel. 2-77905)
Tom Sinclair: (Room St.28, Room 2, tel. 2-77577)

Nightline (tel. 2-70270), open from 2000 till 0800 (0 to 9 weeks inclusive), is a confidential listening, information and support service run by trained student volunteers.

The SU Welfare Officers are the head of the SU Welfare Team. They can provide referrals or general information about a range of welfare services, and are always available to listen in confidence to any problems or concerns of students. Email:

Welfare Facilities in College

Women’s Room
The Women’s Room (HC.2) is maintained by the Women’s Officers and is available for any woman who otherwise can’t get home. Access requires a special code, please email The Women’s Room contains a variety of useful supplies, condoms, sanitary products, rape alarms, pregnancy tests etc., it is always kept fully stocked. If you need the morning-after-pill, thrush medication or cystitis medication then please pidge the receipt to the Women’s Officers who will reimburse as soon as possible.

Welfare Bedroom
The Welfare Bedroom (11.7) is maintained by the Welfare and Equal Opportunities Officers and is available both to use as a quiet space in college during the day and as a safe space for students who find themselves unable to return home at night. The room is stocked with health and sexual information as well as condom supplies. All students are welcome to use this space and can obtain the code for the room by emailing

Supporting students and staff with disabilities

Wadham College is committed to supporting students and staff with disabilities. We work closely with the University’s Disability Advisory Service, and with Occupational Health, to ensure we offer appropriate support both in working with individual staff and students, and in shaping the broader culture, physical and academic. Everyone at Wadham is committed to creating a fair and positive environment.

Further information

In an emergency

Emergency Services (fire, police, or ambulance) should be called from the nearest phone by dialling 999 in the case of any obviously serious incident. The Lodge should be informed as quickly as possible thereafter. (Lodge emergency number 277999).

Lodge staff are appointed persons in basic first aid. The individual raising the alarm should remain with any injured person or at or near the scene of the fire or other incident in order to relay relevant information to the emergency services when they arrive.

Safety in College and at Merifield

We all need to do everything we can to maintain the security of each other, the College, and ourselves. 

Oxford College premises are open to a large number of people. Most are visitors calling on members of College, some are tourists, but others may be thieves. You are reminded not to leave money or valuables in unlocked, unattended rooms. Room doors should be kept locked and ground floor windows closed whenever you leave your room unattended, even if away for only a few minutes. The College cannot accept liability for loss of or damage to personal property. Security measures have been increased in recent years, and further advice will be given on arrival. If you see anyone acting suspiciously please contact the Lodge immediately. Please ensure that you do not prop open entrance doors to staircases.

Merifield is a closed site and access is given to authorised persons only. Merifield is protected by an extensive CCTV security system. Residents are asked not to prop open doors leading to staircases and the main gates leading onto the site. Merifield residents are asked to be vigilant and not to let anyone unknown to them on to site and to ensure that they are not tail-gated when entering the main gate. Residents should ensure that bedrooms and flats are securely locked and windows closed when residents are out. The Merifield Manager should be informed of any absence from the site for more than three nights. All lost keys should be reported to the Merifield Manager immediately.

Health and safety
We all have a responsibility for health and safety at the College. Specifically, the Building Services Manager and Operations Manager are responsible to the Domestic Bursar not only for maintaining the buildings but also for electrical safety, the fire and intruder alarm systems and fire-fighting appliances. It is essential that fire and smoke detection systems and fire fighting equipment are not interfered with; any such interference is a criminal offence, will be regarded very seriously and will result in disciplinary action being taken including an automatic fine. Any malfunction of fire fighting or security equipment should be reported immediately to the Lodge (emergency number 01865 277999), or to the Works Department at the back of the Bowra Building (tel: 01865 277554).  The emergency phones in the communal areas in each staircase will automatically dial the Lodge.

Explosives and firearms 
Firearms, explosives, pyrotechnics, inflammable materials, weapons etc., must not be brought into or stored in College accommodation, whether in your room or elsewhere. This includes swords and replicas and/or deactivated firearms of any kind.

It is a matter of life and death that fire risks are kept to a minimum. The only permitted items of private electrical equipment containing high-current heating elements are kettles and hair dryers and these items should never be left unattended when in use. Cooking in rooms is not permitted and neither are candles, shisha pipes, joss sticks or other naked flames, fairy lights or drapes. See Electrical appliances section. Electrical heaters other than those supplied by the College are not permitted in College. Any prohibited items will be removed by the Head of Housekeeping and a note will be left in the room. Check routinely that all wiring and plugs are in good condition, are of the correct voltage (240v) and properly connected. (If in doubt, have the item checked by the Works team).

Permission must be sought from the Domestic Bursar before any upholstered furniture, including futons or other convertibles, and mattresses are brought into College in view of stringent fire resistance requirements which must be adhered to.

Smoking on the main College site is restricted to the immediate vicinity of the dedicated smoking bins. Smoking is prohibited in all internal spaces, the Front Quad, the area immediately outside of the main entrance to the College, in front of the Graduate Centre and the Bowra balconies. Cigarettes should be properly extinguished in an ashtray and not left on the ground as litter.  This smoking policy includes electronic cigarettes.

Make sure, as soon as you move into a College room, that you know the fire-escape arrangements and the location of fire-appliances and alarms. It is important that escape routes, especially staircases and corridors, are kept clear and free of flammable material such as paper, cardboard boxes etc. Fire-doors must never be wedged open: they are designed specifically to prevent the rapid spread of smoke and flames.


There are instructions in every room on what to do in the event of a fire: read them, and refresh your memory from time to time. Fire exercises are held at least three times per year in term under the direction of the Head Porter or his Deputy. The Fire Wardens appointed from among the residents on each staircase are briefed on their duties at the beginning of Michaelmas Term by the Head Porter. Their names are indicated in red on the staircase residence boards.

Windows, roofs and access
If a building has window restrictors, you must not remove, adapt, override or interfere with the restrictors in any way.  Please advise the Lodge if you are aware of a restrictor which is not operating correctly.

For safety reasons, students and their guests are strictly prohibited from accessing roof areas, parapets or canopies, or into any area with a sign indicating that access is restricted.  Unauthorised entry to these areas will be referred to the Warden as a serious misconduct and will be subject to sanctions.

The Bowra balconies are designed for use and are fitted with guard rails.  Access is permitted on these areas providing that they are used safely and responsibly.  Guard rails must not be used for seating or standing on.  The use of BBQs and/or other cooking devices on balconies is strictly prohibited.

Snow, ice and leaf clearance
Snow and ice clearance will be carried out by the Works team under the direction of the Maintenance Operations Manager as soon as it becomes necessary. However out of hours clearance and salting is the responsibility of the Duty Porter who will put this into effect as soon as it becomes necessary. Please report any areas you consider to be a danger to the Lodge. Leaves will be cleared by the gardening team. At Merifield, the Manager is responsible for snow, ice and leaf clearance.
Snow and ice clearance policy
1. We aim to maintain safe passage through the College’s main external routes as far as is practicable within our resources.
2. It is expected that College members and visitors will take due care for their own safety in adverse conditions.
3. Priority will be given to entrances, steps and the most used pedestrian routes.
4. Salt will be applied to routes in anticipation of ice or snow to attempt to prevent it forming. Accumulated snow will be cleared when possible.
5. Clearance will be as soon as practicable. Except in exceptional conditions this will take place during normal working time.
6. If a thaw is expected clearance work will be done only in key areas, e.g. steps and heavily used paths. Salt will be applied if it is expected to refreeze. Grounds are cleared of rubbish and litter on a regular basis by the Head Gardener, Assistant Gardeners and General Assistants. Students are expected to behave responsibly and to avoid causing, or adding, to litter.

Bicycle security
The College is a member of the Bicycle Registration Scheme run by the University Security Services. Labels and marking pens are available from the Lodge free of charge. Due to increasing theft of bicycles you are urged to participate in the registration scheme. If keys are lost and bicycles have to be released by the Works Staff there will be a charge of £20. This service is only provided for bicycles in the main College site or at Merifield.

Off-site incidents
It is important that the Lodge is informed of any untoward incidents involving Wadham students as victims, e.g. muggings or other kinds of assault. While the first need is obviously to summon medical assistance, if required, and the police, it is very helpful for the College to know of these episodes so that appropriate follow-up action can be considered.