Our Clinical Research directorate, supported by the Transform Research Alliance, carries out quantitative and qualitative research around the improvement of healthcare provision for vulnerable groups, such as prisoner populations.

Spectrum’s Research Directorate conducts offender healthcare research to ensure the services provided by Spectrum originate from evidence-based practice and are of the highest quality. From research on substance misuse and addiction to long term conditions (such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases), the team explores a diverse range of healthcare areas.

Our research aims to improve patient care by gaining better understandings that can positively inform healthcare practice and policies on a wider scale. Patients tend to display high levels of enthusiasm about the research we conduct. For example, prisoners were keen to take part in the Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) research conducted at HMP Leeds as they wanted to play an active part in improving the prison regime.


The research team is constantly seeking to improve existing services and find new and more efficient ways of doing things. For instance, it was found that giving the drug ‘naloxone’ to prisoners, upon release, helped to reduce the number of heroin overdose related deaths. In addition to saving lives, this helps in reducing the number of ‘Deaths in Custody’.

Transform Research Alliance

The team regularly works with different social enterprises as part of the Transform Research Alliance (TRA).

The TRA  is an alliance of research-ready health and social care providers spread across the United Kingdom, with the aim to improve the research governance process and research capabilities within social enterprises.

To find out more, you can visit the following website: http://www.transformresearchalliance.org.uk

The research team also has partnerships with many educational institutes (e.g. York, Leeds, Huddersfield and Nottingham universities) and NHS organisations such as Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

We also work with prison staff members (prison healthcare departments, prison governors, prison officers) which is imperative to our prison based research. We are also linked to other external organisations such as the National Addiction Centre.