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:

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!

Spectrum People join the crowds for Wakefield Armed Forces Day

Charity volunteers from Spectrum People joined community partners and families across the district to celebrate Armed Forces Day in Wakefield on 18 June.

Led by Spectrum People Co-ordinator, Fran Taylor, the team of volunteers organised a book raffle to raise funds for the charity’s community initiatives across Wakefield (including the Café and Chat project, which moves to a new base from 30 June), and were on hand to give out information on the charity’s work supporting vulnerable adults across the district.

Armed Forces Day is one of the most popular community events in the Wakefield district, attracting hundreds of visitors every year. This year, crowds faced temperatures of 29 degrees to take part, enjoying the annual veteran’s parade and a range of dance displays and children’s activities on the hottest day of the year.

Spectrum also offered prevention advice and information on safer drinking, as well as helping to promote the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

Spectrum join Changing Lives as new providers for York Drug & Alcohol service

Spectrum Community Health will join national charity Changing Lives as the new providers of drug and alcohol services in York from 1 June.

Spectrum and Changing Lives are already working in partnership on substance misuse services in North Yorkshire and will now take over drug and alcohol services in York, commissioned by the City of York Council.

Dr. Linda Harris, Chief Executive at Spectrum Community Health CIC, said: “We are delighted to be working with an established partner, Changing Lives, with whom we have shared values focused on service users and staff. It’s an exciting prospect to be working with the Council’s vision for drugs and alcohol recovery, which will benefit service users.”

Changing Lives is a national charity specialising in services for vulnerable and socially excluded people. A spokesperson from Changing Lives said:

“We’re delighted to have secured the contract for drug and alcohol services in York.

“Our partnership comprises an established network of professionals and practitioners who are specialists in clinical and psycho-social interventions for people who wish to address their relationship with drugs or alcohol.  The number one priority for City of York Council, Changing Lives and Spectrum, is to ensure that the people who use this service do not experience any disruption to care or treatment.”

Service users will receive a letter from City of York Council this week to explain the change in provider in more detail – contact details for the service will remain the same.

International Nurses Day 2017

Each year, 12 May marks International Nurses Day – a day which commemorates the birth of Florence Nightingale and celebrates the hard work of nurses across the world. The work of our nurses supports Spectrum’s core services in the community and in the health and justice system, providing key patient care across a broad range of specialist areas including:

  • offender healthcare
  • substance misuse
  • mental health
  • sexual health

Spectrum nurses have also been recognised nationally, winning at the Nursing Times Awards 2016 and the BJN Awards 2017.

International Nurses Day celebrates nursing dedication, commitment and excellence at all levels – take part and join the conversation.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2017

From 8-14th  May, Spectrum is supporting Mental Health Awareness Week. This year’s theme, “Surviving or Thriving?” invites us to consider a wider understanding of mental wellbeing. This week, we’ll be spreading the message on social media about good mental health and sharing helpful tips you can follow at home and at work – including easy steps to boost wellbeing such as eating healthily, sleeping well and building up a support network of friends and family. To find out more, follow Spectrum on Twitter @SpectrumCIC and like our new Facebook page here.

We’re also shining a spotlight on five ways to wellbeing; simple ideas which can change the way you think about mental health.

Five Ways to Wellbeing

  • CONNECT – take the time to talk to people face to face
  • BE ACTIVE – exercise can help relieve stress and keep you focused
  • KEEP LEARNING – learning enhances self-esteem and helps set goals
  • GIVE – Giving to others is an easy way to boost your wellbeing
  • TAKE NOTICE – Be mindful of others and appreciate the moment

Mental health
How would you rate your mental health? The Mental Health Foundation have developed a wellbeing survey to help you give you a snapshot – try it for free to see where you could improve your wellbeing.