Spectrum is shortlisted for the GP Awards 2017!

Three Spectrum services have been shortlisted for the General Practice Awards 2017.

This is a fantastic achievement for our community services, which have been shortlisted  for:

  • Nursing Team of the Year
  • Clinical Team of the Year (Sexual Health)
  • Clinical Team of the Year (Respiratory)

The GP Awards recognise excellence in general practice and nursing across healthcare services each year.

Spectrum’s sexual health services in Wakefield and Barnsley are both finalists for an award, having made fantastic progress in supporting and engaging with patients since 2015. Find out more about these services on our sexual health pages.

Spectrum nurses based in secure environments are also finalists for their programme supporting patients with chronic lung disease.

This year’s GP Awards ceremony takes place in London on 30th November.

View the full shortlist here.


WY-FI Project nominated for a community award

Spectrum colleagues within the West Yorkshire: Finding Independence Project (WY-FI) are set to receive an award from West Yorkshire Police for their work to support the rehabilitation of offenders.

Jamie Hayward, a Navigator for WY-FI Project in Wakefield, has been invited to the District Commander’s Awards Evening on 22nd November, led by Chief Superintendent Mabs Hussain.

The awards evening recognises police staff, partner agencies, and members of the public who have made significant contributions to their local communities.

WY-FI: supporting people with multiple needs

Spectrum has led the Wakefield locality of WY-FI since 2014, joined by six local partners and lead provider, DISC. As part of the Wakefield WY-FI team, “Navigators” help service users with complex needs to find the care they need, working closing with local authorities, housing associations, and health and justice partners to help beneficiaries engage with support services.

The WY-FI Project supports some of the most vulnerable people in West Yorkshire. WY-FI service users (known as beneficiaries) struggle to engage with community services and all have at least three complex needs, including homelessness, addiction, reoffending and mental ill health.

To find out more about the WY-FI Project across Yorkshire, visit the project website.


World Mental Health Day

10th October marked World Mental Health Day, and Spectrum is supporting this year’s campaign to raise awareness of mental health at work.

Spectrum works with our partners across Northern England to support patients and help create stronger, thriving communities, adopting an holistic approach which combines support for physical and mental health. But whether you’re supporting a patient, partner or colleague this month, understanding the importance of mental health (and the factors which can affect it) is key to creating a positive environment and encouraging discussion. Talking about mental health can also help to tackle stigma and encourage colleagues to feel emotionally supported.

This year, we’re asking people to simply spend 10 minutes chatting with someone you know – a friend, colleague or partner – about their mental health, creating a new conversation about a sometimes uncomfortable topic. Take 10 minutes to ask a friend:

  • How are you feeling?
  • How long have you felt like this?
  • Who do you feel that you can go to for support?
  • Is there anything I can do to help you?

And it doesn’t have to end there. Follow them up and ask how they are doing – whether it’s keeping in touch with a colleague who is ill, or coming up with ways to cheer up a friend or partner.

To find out more about supporting mental health, you can also:

MHRA warn patients not to purchase unreliable “Hightop” HIV testing kits

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a warning to the public not to use or buy Hightop HIV Home Testing Kits because they may be unreliable and produce false results.

The MHRA has seized 114 potentially unreliable products from suppliers in the UK and all sales of the product have been stopped by the manufacturer. The HIV kits, manufactured by Qingdao Hightop Biotech Co Ltd, do not have a valid CE mark which means the product has not met a number of regulatory requirements concerning test performance, labelling and instructions for use for use.

MHRA is investigating the issue with experts at Public Health England. Members of the public are advised to:

  • Always make sure the HIV test kit has a CE mark and is clearly intended for self-testing. Only approved HIV self-testing kits that have met the appropriate regulatory requirements concerning test performance, labelling and directions for use carry a CE mark.
  • Whether buying from the high street or online, only buy a self-test kit from a reputable source, such as an online pharmacy registered with MHRA. In the UK online pharmacies must be registered with MHRA and display the European Common Logo on every page of their website.
  • Seek a further test through their GP or local sexual health clinic if you have used this product.

Suspected faulty test kits can be reported via the Yellow Card Scheme.

MHRA’s director of devices, John Wilkinson, said: “People who buy a self-test kit online or from the high street should know what they are buying is safe and reliable. Make sure the kit has a CE mark and clearly states that it is intended for home self-testing. Don’t use a test kit if it’s damaged or the seal is broken.

“If you are concerned you may have used an unreliable test kit, speak to your GP, sexual health clinic, pharmacist or other healthcare professional.”

Local support

Spectrum works with partners in Wakefield and Barnsley to provide HIV testing and support.

For HIV support in Wakefield, contact Trinity Walk Clinic on 01924 846628 or email Wakefield.SHARP@Spectrum-cic.nhs.uk

For HIV support in Barnsley, contact Gateway Clinic on 0800 055 6442 or email Barnsley.SHARP@Spectrum-cic.nhs.uk

You can also find out more about Spectrum’s sexual health service on our sexual health webpage.

Partnership launch for York Drug and Alcohol Service

York Drug and Alcohol Service held a launch event on Wednesday 26th July to mark the start of how local agencies can shape services that further helps people struggling with substance misuse. Commissioned by City of York Council, the service is now being delivered under a new partnership between Changing Lives and Spectrum Community Health CIC.

The event provided a key opportunity for professionals working with York Drug and Alcohol Service to learn more about the partnership and begin discussions about how they can work together to benefit service users. To guide the discussions, ‘Graduates’ (people who needed help with addictions and who have successfully been through the substance misuse recovery programme) spoke to agencies about their experiences and what they think works well and what can be improved. York in Recovery (YIR), a peer-led group which focuses on promoting abstinence in the community, also supported the event.

Councillor Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health said: “We are delighted that the new service alcohol and drug treatment and recovery service is launching to support our residents. The service will support by developing early intervention and prevention services through an innovative and collaborative approach with our partners. Facilitating a stable and supportive environment for service users is very important to ensure effective and long lasting results and we look forward to working with Changing Lives and Spectrum to make this happen.”

Spectrum and Changing Lives already offer a range of services to help people to be free from drug and alcohol addiction, including: recovery programmes, group and 1:1 sessions, clinical treatment and prescribing, and workshops. Anyone in need of drug and alcohol support can call the service on 01904 464680 or email: York-info@changing-lives.org.uk.

Stephen Bell OBE, Chief Executive of Changing Lives, said: “Changing Lives are committed to helping people achieve a better future. Our partnership with Spectrum offers an ideal opportunity for us to combine our extensive professional experience in drug and alcohol recovery, with their clinical expertise in the field. Working with the local community, we aim to improve outcomes for people in York who have taken the courageous first step towards overcoming their addiction.”

Dr. Linda Harris, Spectrum’s Chief Executive, said: “We are excited to begin working with Changing Lives and driving progress as part of York Drug and Alcohol Service. Spectrum has a record of excellence in substance misuse and we are working closely with York Council and Changing Lives and other partners in York to build on the existing service, ensuring that all patients receive the best care at every stage of their recovery journey.”

Spectrum shortlisted for the Nursing Times Awards

Spectrum Community Health has made the official shortlist for the Nursing Times Awards 2017, with five patient projects nominated for a national award!

Spectrum teams are finalists in the following categories:

  • Emergency and Critical Care
  • Nursing in the Community
  • Respiratory Nursing
  • Managing Long-Term Conditions

Celebrating hard work across a range of projects, this shortlisting is a fantastic achievement for Spectrum’s services and staff.

Among the shortlisted programmes is Spectrum’s Emergency Response in Custody (ERIC) Project, commissioned by NHS England and delivered in partnership between Spectrum and Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS). This project provides widespread training and support to improve the efficiency of emergency response in secure environments, and has been rolled out to 35 prisons in the North of England.

Spectrum’s Workforce Wellness Programme has also made the shortlist, as well as three nursing initiatives in HMP Full Sutton.

The full shortlist is available online. The Nursing Times will be held in London on 2nd November.

Government launches new Drugs Strategy and Clinical Guidelines

The government has today launched it’s new Drug Strategythumbnail of Drug_strategy_2017, to reduce illicit drug use and increase the rate of individuals recovering from drug dependence.

Each year in the UK, drugs cost society £10.7 billion in policing, healthcare and crime, with drug-fuelled theft alone costing £6 billion a year. Research shows that for every £1 spent on treatment, an estimated £2.50 is saved.

In 2015/16, 2.7 million – over 8% – of 16-59-year-olds in England and Wales took illegal drugs.

The new strategy confronts these threats and sets out new action to protect the most vulnerable, including the homeless, victims of domestic abuse and those with mental health issues.

For more information, visit the government web page.

In addition, the Department of Health has issued the latest ‘Orange Book‘, giving guidance on how clinicians should treat people with drug misuse and drug dependence problems.

This 2017 version offers new guidelines on:

  • prison-based treatment
  • new psychoactive substances and club drugs
  • mental health co-morbidity
  • misuse of prescribed and over-the-counter medicines
  • stopping smoking
  • preventing drug-related deaths, including naloxone provision

The new guidelines also have a stronger emphasis on recovery and a holistic approach to the interventions that can support recovery.

Spectrum attends Connecting Recovery conference

On Wednesday 5th July, Spectrum will join healthcare partners across Yorkshire to attend the Aspire – “Connecting Recovery in the Community” Conference in Doncaster.

This event is a great opportunity for professionals working in substance misuse to build relationships with partner providers across Yorkshire and learn more about the excellent work being done to build resilient communities. Representatives from our charity, Spectrum People, will be attending to spread the word about their work supporting vulnerable adults and Spectrum’s Chief Executive, Dr. Linda Harris, will also be speaking on the day.

Find out more and book your place through Aspire.


Men’s Health Week 2017

From 12-18 June, Spectrum marked Men’s Health Week – a week to focus on health issues which more commonly affect men, and what we can do to reduce risk.

This year’s campaign, led by the Men’s Health Forum, focused on abdominal obesity (belly fat) – this is the most dangerous type of fat, and most often affects men. If you’re male, having a waist size of 37 inches or more could be putting you at greater risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. This is true even if your overall weight is normal; it’s the abdominal fat which is most harmful.

To support the campaign, Men’s Health forum designed a range of free posters and advice which is available on their website.

Spectrum makes the shortlist for Patient Safety Awards

Three Spectrum services have made this year’s shortlist for the Patient Safety Awards, which will be held in Manchester on Tuesday 4 July.

This fantastic achievement exemplifies Spectrum’s commitment to providing high-quality patient care across our community and secure settings.
Our finalists in each category are:

  • HMP & YOI Styal – Clinical Governance and Risk Management
  • Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) – Learning Disabilities
  • North Yorkshire Horizons – Patient Safety in the Community

We’ll be following the Awards on the night and the official shortlist is now available online. Good luck to all our nominees!