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 info@wellwomenwakefield.org.uk.

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.

Spectrum shortlisted for the Pamela Sheridan Award

Spectrum is one of six finalists for this year’s Pamela Sheridan Award, which recognises excellence in sex education programmes and projects for young people.

Led by the Family Planning Association (FPA), the award celebrates innovation and good practice in relationships and sex education (RSE) within a wide range of settings, including high schools and youth groups.

Spectrum’s bespoke RSE Programme was created with ongoing input from young people and has been offered to high school students in the Wakefield District since 2011, extending into Barnsley and later into schools for students with special education needs (SEN). The central programme focuses on encouraging young people to learn about:

  • Relationships
  • Risk
  • Contraception
  • Sexual health (including information on STI’s and local sexual health services)

In 2016, RSE lessons led by Spectrum were delivered to over 7,000 pupils in 22 schools across Wakefield, and the Programme continues to receive excellent feedback from students and staff. Find out more about the impact of RSE in schools.

National HIV Testing Week

‘Know Your Status’ for National HIV Testing Week

Spectrum Community Health is encouraging people to ‘Know Your Status!’ by taking an HIV test. National HIV Testing Week (NHTW) starts on Saturday 18th November 2017 and sexual health providers across the Wakefield and Barnsley Districts are working together to raise awareness about the importance of getting tested.

Knowing your HIV status gives you complete control over your health. If someone has recently changed partners, had unprotected sex, unsure if their protection has worked, recently returned from a holiday romance or it’s been a while since they last had sex – it is important for them to take a test and know their HIV status.

Belinda Loftus, Spectrum’s Head of Sexual Health Services said:

“Knowing your HIV status is the only way you can take control over your health and have peace of mind. HIV rates are falling thanks to the advances being made in prevention and treatment, but 13% of people living with HIV still don’t know they have it. Testing is quick and simple to do and Spectrum’s friendly nurses provide plenty of advice and support to anyone who is worried about taking the test. Knowing your status is the only way you can protect yourself and others. Early diagnosis and treatment of HIV means people can now live a long and healthy life.”

Dr Andrew Furber, Wakefield Council’s Director of Public Health said:

“Testing has improved significantly and now only involves a quick and simple finger prick test, with the results available in minutes. I encourage people to go and get tested to help protect their own health as well as that of others.”

Testing regularly for HIV ensures you are protecting your health and others too. Testing for HIV is quick, easy and confidential, and knowing your status will allow people to access the support they might need. It may feel like a big step to have a HIV test but Spectrum’s nurses can offer the support someone might need. All conversations are strictly confidential and non-judgemental.

It’s also important to get tested and diagnosed to ensure that if treatment is needed, it can begin early. To get a HIV Test:

  • Visit Spectrum Community Health at our Trinity Walk Clinic in Wakefield City Centre (Trinity Walk Clinic, 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: Wakefield.SHARP@spectrum-cic.nhs.uk.
  • Visit 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: Barnsley.SHARP@spectrum-cic.nhs.uk.
  • Book an appointment with Yorkshire MESMAC – visit mesmac.co.uk
  • You can find other clinics that offer HIV testing by visiting aidsmap.com/hiv-test-finder.
  • Free home self-sampling tests are available online. These are available to anyone who is in a high risk group – the site will ask you a series of question to assess if you fall within this group. You can order these online from either sexual-health.co.uk or www.test.hiv.

National HIV Testing Week (NHTW) is co-ordinated by HIV Prevention England (HPE) with support from organisations nationwide.

For more information on HIV Testing Week in Wakefield and Barnsley, you can follow us on Twitter @SpectrumSHARP and Facebook or visit www.sexual-health.co.uk.

Share your feedback on Wakefield maternity services

NHS Wakefield CCG are currently reaching out to local women to find out about their experiences of postnatal care and support in the district.

The CCG service are keen to reach as many women as possible to find out how they felt about the support they received and the information and advice from their midwife and health visitors. Partners and family members are also welcome to share their feedback.

The survey aims to gather information in regards to what is important to women and what choices they want, aiming to shape future services.

If you or someone you know has used maternity services in the last two years, please complete and share this survey. The survey can be accessed online but a copy can be sent out to you by post (with a freepost envelope for the reply) if you would prefer. If you would like us to send you one, please ring 01924 317644 or email Sarah.Deakin@wakefieldccg.nhs.uk.

The survey: https://tinyurl.com/WakefieldMaternity

If you’d like to find out more about how you can help improve services in Wakefield, you can visit the NHS Wakefield CCG engagement website here: https://www.wakefieldccg.nhs.uk/home/patient-in-wakefield/get-involved/current-engagement-opportunities/.

Vote for Spectrum People

Wakefield Safeguarding Week 2017

On Monday 9th October, Spectrum worked with Wakefield Council and other district partners to show their commitment to safeguarding by hosting a Wakefield Safeguarding public launch event.

The event, which was held outside the Wakefield Cathedral, was a great opportunity for the public to learn more about safeguarding, what they can do if they have any safeguarding concerns or indeed get help if they are experiencing any form of abuse or violence. Partners included West Yorkshire Police, Inspiring Recovery, WDDAS Wakefield Domestic Abuse Service, CGL, Barnardos, Mid Yorks NHS Trust, SWYFT, West Yorkshire Fire Service, Samaritans, Spectrum People and many others.

Safeguarding protects children, young people and vulnerable adults from issues such as domestic violence and abuse, child sexual exploitation, alcohol and substance misuse and human trafficking. The event was set up to help advise people on these issues, and remind them that it is everyone’s business to help protect the most vulnerable members of society.

The event was excellent because members of the public were able to talk to any of the partners about any concerns they had, and if they were unable to advise, they could refer them to a service who could.

In addition, a number of training courses, aimed at staff, were held during the week, to enhance education around safeguarding.

If you have any safeguarding concerns about a child or vulnerable person, call 0345 8 503 503. If they’re in immediate danger, contact the Police on 999.