Castleford Sexual Health Clinic Consultation

Tell us how the closure of our Castleford clinic would affect you

Spectrum currently run two sexual health clinics in Castleford, one on Mondays from 2:30pm – 5pm and one on Tuesdays from 5:30pm – 7pm. We want to hear from you regarding the potential closure of the Castleford clinic, and how it may affect you.

You can access the survey here:, if you could please complete the survey before February 12th.

Please note, if the clinic does close, you will still be able to visit your GP or Spectrum’s other sexual clinics in Normanton, Pontefract or Trinity Walk in Wakefield town centre. You can also access chlamydia home-testing kits, the c-card scheme and information online by visiting Appointments can be made at any of our other clinics by calling 0800 121 4860.

If you would like to know more about the proposed changes to the Wakefield Sexual health service you can contact Wakefield Council via email at or call Wakefield Council and ask for sexual health services on 01924 304382.

IICSA launch the Truth Project

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has launched a very special campaign today called the Truth Project. The aim of the campaign is to give victims and survivors of child sexual abuse a voice, and to make sure they know they can talk to the Inquiry confidentially, if they wish to.

The Truth Project is a crucial part of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, as victims and survivors who come forward shape the understanding of the nature and scale of abuse. More importantly, it offers these survivors a chance to have a voice, make suggestions and help bring change.

Those who choose to share their experience will be influential in shaping the Inquiry’s report and research and as a result, will direct government and organisations on how to improve child protection across England and Wales.

The Truth Project has been developed with the help of the Victims and Survivors Consultative Panel who continue to help the Inquiry consider the impact of their work from the perspective of victims and survivors. The campaign is also based on substantial research, involving victims and survivors of child sexual abuse and the general public.

There are several ways you can contact the Truth Project and all correspondence and conversations are strictly confidential.

If you, or anyone you know, may want to talk to the Trust Project, you can contact them here:

Protect your sexual health over the Christmas period

Spectrum Community Health CIC is urging residents to look after their sexual health over the festive season by being careful at a time when drinking alcohol increases with the festivities.

Alcohol can alter a person’s perception in certain situations meaning they might take more risks including not using a condom. When intoxicated it might be harder to ensure a condom is being used properly or it may not be a thought until after. This puts a person at significant risk of any unwanted consequences such as pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs), like syphilis.

If you have sex with someone and don’t use a condom, it’s important you visit your GP or Spectrum’s sexual health clinic to get a full STI screening to put your mind at ease. Spectrum’s clinical staff are friendly and non-judgmental, and can help advise you on anything you feel you may need.

Contraception helps prevent pregnancy when taken correctly, so if you’ve not used any contraception, or think your contraception method might have failed, emergency hormonal contraception (EHC) can be taken to avoid any unwanted pregnancies. EHC can be accessed from:

  • Spectrum Community Health at our Trinity Walk Clinic in Wakefield (Unit LG1A, Trinity Walk Shopping Centre, Wakefield, WF1 1QS). Drop-in clinics are offered Monday to Friday, 8.15am to 12pm. You can also book an appointment to see us – just call 0800 121 4860 or email:
  • Spectrum Community Health at our Gateway Clinic in Barnsley (Unit 1 Gateway Plaza, Sackville Street, Barnsley, S70 2RD). Drop-In clinics are offered Monday to Friday, 8.15am to 11:30m. You can also book an appointment to see us – just call 0800 055 6442 or email:
  • Your GP surgery.
  • Some local pharmacies but depending on the pharmacy, you may have to pay.

Here are some tips for looking after your sexual health when out drinking over the festive period:

  • If you’re ready to have sex, prepare your contraception before you go out drinking and always carry a few condoms.
  • If you’re sick within two hours of taking your contraceptive pill, it won’t have been absorbed by your body. Continue to take your pill as normal and use condoms for seven days
  • Whilst sober, discuss any boundaries you might have with your partner.
  • Don’t pressure someone into being physical with you and remember it is okay to say no.

Visit Spectrum’s campaign page for more information on where to access emergency contraception, where you can get tested for STIs, opening hours over the festive period and more tips on safe sex and alcohol:

For more information about Safe Sex and Alcohol, you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook at SpectrumSHARP or visit

New Alcohol Studies report finds that breath tests have fallen almost a quarter in five years

A new report published by the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) reveals that numbers of breath tests for drink-driving have fallen almost a quarter in the past five years.

Running on empty: Drink-driving law enforcement in England’ assesses nationally published breath test figures from police data, alongside Freedom of Information (FoI) responses from 35 police constabularies on the levels of resources and enforcement committed to dealing with drink-driving.

The figures reveal that breath tests conducted by officers have fallen between 2012 and 2015/16, in the face of fewer available staff (the number of Roads Police Officers has declined by 27% since 2012) and increasing pressure on stretched frontline officers.

If breath testing had been maintained at 2011 levels, there would have been over a quarter of million (260,681) more breath tests performed during this period. The average roads policing budget for forces also steadily declined, by almost a million pounds per force.

These figures have emerged among a backdrop of no significant changes to drink drive deaths in the UK since 2010. England and Wales stand apart from all other nations in Europe – including Scotland and N. Ireland – in having a drink drive limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood; other nations’ limits are 50mg/100ml or lower. In addition to greater enforcement, research suggests that if England and Wales followed suit, lowering the limit would save at least 25 lives and prevent 95 serious casualties a year, and £800 million in costs.

Such a move is also supported by road safety charities, publicans, and the public – the latest British Social Attitudes Survey showed more than three-quarters (77%) of people are in favour of a lower limit.

Commenting on the findings, IAS Chief Executive Katherine Brown said:

‘This report highlights the damaging impact of police cuts on the ability of roads officers to do their job properly and enforce the law against drink-driving. Where enforcement levels are on the wane, more public campaigns would raise awareness about the dangers of drink-driving, and a lower drink drive limit would provide a cost-effective way of limiting the risk of people getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

‘While budgets continue to be squeezed, approximately 200 lives are being lost on our roads to drink-drivers every year, and although the Department for Transport says that is “200 too many“, stripping police forces of the resources needed to tackle drink-driving may lead to worse outcomes in future.

The full report is available to read here:

Spectrum prison nurses win at the GP Awards 2017!

Spectrum’s Prison nurses in York have scooped a national healthcare award for their six-week programme supporting patients with chronic lung disease.

The healthcare team at HMP Full Sutton was crowned “Clinical Team of the Year (Respiratory)” at the General Practice Awards 2017, held at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel on 30th November.
Their award-winning programme combines gentle exercise, and education to improve the quality of life for patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the term for several lung conditions including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

Liz Littlewood MBE, Head of Healthcare at the prison, said:

“COPD is a chronic illness which progresses over time, and can cause increasing distress and breathlessness. In a prison environment, this means that many patients can struggle to cope with their daily routine and may require hospital admissions for ‘flare-ups’ of COPD. Spectrum’s Pulmonary Rehab Programme allows patients to better manage the symptoms of their lung disease, build up their exercise tolerance and learn more about lung health.”

“We’re delighted to receive this recognition from the GP Awards and to have been joined by so many finalists who showed real commitment to excellence. Prison healthcare is a field which has unique challenges, and our aim is always to manage these without compromising on care.”

COPD affects around 1.2million people and is the most common lung disease in Britain after asthma. Some people may experience symptoms for some time before diagnosis, or mistake early signs of COPD as a “smoker’s cough” – approximately 90% of all COPD cases are linked to cigarette smoking. . The prevalence of smoking and respiratory illness is generally greater among the prison population than in the community in general, so signposting patients who smoke towards smoking cessation services is also a key aim of the programme.

On the night, the award for the York team was collected by nurses from Spectrum’s Wakefield-based sexual health service (pictured), which was also shortlisted for an award.

Spectrum leads new sexual health service for Wigan Borough

In partnership with Wigan Council, Spectrum will be providing sexual health services across the Wigan Borough from March 2018.

The Council has awarded Spectrum a five year contract to deliver all sexual health services across the borough. This change comes after a review identified opportunities for sexual health improvement across the area, and the local authority organised a consultation with local residents to find out what challenges they currently faced and who they wanted to access services from.

Out of the responses received:

  • 90% strongly agreed that there should be one organisation responsible for care co-ordination, and
  • 88% per cent strongly agreed that there should be increased outreach in communities.

Professor Kate Ardern, director for public health at Wigan Council said: “We are dedicated to providing effective services and it is important that our residents shape how those services are delivered. We need to do things differently to get ahead of the curve and encourage a pro-active, preventative approach. We are extremely excited to welcome Spectrum CIC and believe that this new way of working will reduce the stigma and taboo nature of talking about sexual health.”

Spectrum will deliver both adult and young people’s sexual health services and will be in the heart of communities through nurse-led clinics in seven areas across the borough. We will also adopt a digital focus, which could see service users self-testing for sexually transmitted diseases at home and accessing help online.

Dr. Linda Harris, Spectrum’s Chief Executive, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the news of being chosen by Wigan to deliver their sexual health services and are excited by the opportunity to support the ambitions the council has to develop innovative citizen centred sexual health and wellbeing services.

“We are very much looking forward to working with the council and the people of Wigan Borough to shape the services they want and need.”

The new service will begin from 1st March 2018.

Well Women Centre host the Winter Wellbeing Day

On Tuesday 5th December, the Well Women Centre is hosting a very special Winter Wellbeing Day in Wakefield. The day offers a chance to learn more about staying physically and mentally healthy during the winter, a chance to make your own bath salts and most importantly, the opportunity to talk to others in a safe and welcoming environment.

The day will be held at Elizabethan Gallery, Brook Street, Wakefield, WF1 1QW from 10am to 3pm and activities will consist of:

  • 10:30am – A Guide to Winter Wellbeing

A presentation dedicated to covering winter stresses and seasonal pressures and how they affect our wellbeing. We will also be discussing top tips on how to build self-care strategies into our busy lifestyles (+a free gift bag!)

  • 11:15am – Free Seasonal Refreshments

Hot chocolate, warm non-alcoholic punch, tea, coffee and sweet treats will be available.

  • 11:30am – Make your own Bath Salts

Our qualified complementary therapists will guide you in making your own bath salts to take home and enjoy.

  • 12:30pm – Refreshments

Hot chocolate, warm non-alcoholic punch, tea, coffee and sweet treats will be available.`

  • 1:30pm – A Guide to Winter Wellbeing (repeat)

To ensure that everyone who attends the day gets the most out of what’s on offer, the Winter Wellbeing day will be a child-free, women only space.

The Well Women Centre provides counselling, complementary therapies and support services for women across the Wakefield District. They also run courses where individuals can learn more about a range of topics including anxiety, mindfulness and building self-esteem. If you’re interested in attending, register by calling 01924 211114 or email

Prison nurses make the shortlist for the Guardian Public Service Awards

We’re wishing the best of luck to Spectrum’s prison nursing team tonight, who are finalists for the Guardian Public Service Awards in central London.

The Guardian Public Service Awards have been held annually since 2003, celebrating public servants across a range of sectors including care, housing, finance, recruitment and HR. With an expected audience of almost 300, the ceremony commends ordinary people who innovate in their field to create change, lead on improvements to services and can demonstrate a real impact on their community.

Led by Liz Littlewood MBE, Spectrum’s Full Sutton nursing team are one of three finalists in the “Care” category, and their shortlisted project will be featured in the Guardian’s print supplement later in November. The team’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programme, developed in 2015, supports patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to manage their symptoms, learn more about maintaining their lung health and build up tolerance to gentle exercise.

Good luck to all of tonight’s finalists – you can view the full shortlist online here.

Spectrum attends the 5th Health & Justice Summit

Spectrum will join clinical experts across the UK in shining a light on prison healthcare at the 5th Health and Justice Summit from 27th-28th November.

The Health and Justice Summit is one of the largest networking events in the healthcare industry, bringing together clinicians from across the UK to discuss key areas of research, best practice and topical issues in offender healthcare.

This year’s two-day Summit, held in Glasgow, is sponsored by Spectrum and other partners and will focus on the theme of “Ageing Well in Secure Environments”. Guests will attend sessions on understanding the health needs of older prisoners, including dementia support and palliative care. Spectrum’s Chief Executive, Linda Harris, will lead a session on commissioning care for older adults in prison, whilst colleagues will host a workshop and plenary session focused on Spectrum’s clinical research and remote GP working project.

Clinical Research

On the second day on the summit, Clinical Research colleagues Dr. Nat Wright and Pip Hearty will deliver a workshop on their recent projects relating to non-communicable diseases in prison.  This is a key area of research for the team, who have been studying the prevalence of illness and disease among the long-term prison population.

Remote & Agile GP Working

Dr. Ben Sinclair, our Remote GP Lead, will also speak to guests at the Summit about his work implementing the Remote project across Spectrum’s prisons estate in the North of England.

Find out more about the 5th Health & Justice Summit.

WY-FI Project Navigator is commended for supporting vulnerable people

A Navigator from Spectrum’s Wakefield WY-FI service has received a Commendation from West Yorkshire Police for the team’s work to build safer communities, including through supporting better access to services for vulnerable people.

Jamie Hayward (pictured), a Navigator for West Yorkshire: Finding Independence (WY:FI) joined colleagues at the District Commander’s Awards on 22nd November, led by Chief Superintendent Mabs Hussain. The evening recognised police, partner agencies, and members of the public who have made positive contributions to their communities, including through the re-integration of offenders.

The WY-FI Project supports some of the most vulnerable people in West Yorkshire, all of whom have at least three complex needs, including homelessness, addiction, reoffending and mental ill health. As part of WY-FI, Jamie supports vulnerable people to engage with community services, build their confidence and work towards greater independence. WY-FI Navigators also work closely with local authorities, housing associations, and health and justice partners to support people with multiple needs.