Spectrum joins Community Clean-up with CAP

Spectrum colleague Andy Simms led some fantastic alcohol awareness work with local children at the end of September.

Andy, the Castleford co-ordinator for the Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP), joined students from Pinders Primary School and City Academy to lead a community clean-up in central Wakefield. In just a few hours, the children recovered more than 10 bags of alcohol-related waste from around the College Grove area – including bottles and cans which had been discarded close to a community play area. CAP and their partner organisations will now work with local businesses to reduce alcohol-related littering. Well done everyone!

Spectrum shortlisted for the HSJ Awards

Spectrum Community Health CIC has been selected as a finalist in the Health Service Journal Awards (HSJ) for its work to improve sexual health screening.

One of Spectrum’s Wellbeing teams has been shortlisted in the national awards under the Primary Care Redesign category for its re-vamped health screening programme for patients. The new programme was established in August 2015 to provide sexual health support and wider access to screening for blood-borne viruses (BBVs), including hepatitis B and C, syphilis and HIV. Blood-borne viruses (BBVs) can be spread from person to person through sexual intercourse, the sharing of infected needles, or contact with an infected wound.

Spectrum introduced a system of ‘opt-out’ testing which invited all patients for screening as soon as they arrive, tripling engagement with the service. From April to May 2016, the Wellbeing team saw 588 patients and carried out 348 hepatitis screens – almost half of the total for the previous year. Screening is carried out through a simple blood test.

Linda Harris, Spectrum’s Chief Executive, said, “We’re really pleased that Spectrum has been recognised nationally for this work.”

The HSJ Awards ceremony takes place in London on 23 November. These awards are some of the most prestigious across the healthcare sector and invite thousands of nominations each year. The full shortlist for 2016 is available online.

Take 10 for Mental Health

Monday 10 October marks World Mental Health Day and Spectrum is supporting a new national campaign to “take 10 minutes” and raise awareness of mental

Led by Mental Health First Aid England, the idea behind the the ‘Take 10’ campaign is simply to 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.

You can also:

  • Check out the Take 10 Together awareness campaign to access mental health tips, statistics and resources for World Mental Health Day
  • Download the Take 10 Toolkit to access mental health support & resources
  • Take some time to watch one of the short, educational videos on mental health through the official MHFAE website

Mental health is everyone’s business. Let’s start a conversation