Spectrum Granted Lived Experience Charter Status At County Durham Prisons


Spectrum has helped secure Lived Experience Charter awards for two prisons in County Durham. This impressive feat was achieved at HMP Low Newton and HMPYOI Deerbolt on March 29.

HMPYOI Deerbolt, located near Barnard Castle, received Bronze award status. They follow in the footsteps of HMP Lancaster Farms in Lancashire, who accepted the Lived Experience Charter Bronze Award for Spectrum’s work with People with Lived Experience of Criminal Justice, at the start of 2022.

HMP Low Newton, in Durham city centre, established a foot on the ladder by receiving Working Towards award status. Both secure settings are just two of the 19 prisons in Spectrum’s Health and Justice portfolio.

The Lived Experience Charter is an award for providers of NHS England Health and Justice services; having Lived Experience Charter status demonstrates that an organisation has quality standards, best practices, and a commitment to improving the inclusive recruitment and retention practices of people with lived experience of the criminal justice/care system.

Dr Linda Harris OBE, Spectrum’s Chief Executive, said, “On behalf of Spectrum, I am delighted and proud to accept the Lived Experience Charter awards for our work at HMP Low Newton and HMPYOI Deerbolt. Our patients and staff are the heartbeat of our organisation and we are committed to ensuring we co-produce our improvements in care and recruitment. We are listening intently to the needs of our population as we go about this charter mark, providing us with a brilliant framework to aspire for even higher healthcare standards and ultimately embrace the charter mark across all Spectrum sites.”

Lived experience is the experience of people for whom a social issue, or combination of issues, has had a direct impact. Examples include ill mental health, recovery, substance misuse, trauma, and experience of the criminal justice system and/or care system.

Spectrum is working to develop a more inclusive culture as part of its three strategic ambitions; to be an Employer of Choice, to deliver Excellence in Care, and to embrace Growth and New Solutions. The company understands that by improving experiences of one group, it can improve experiences for all staff and service users. Its commitment to the Lived Experience Charter is part of a wider organisational approach to lived experience, embracing the diverse nature of people and welcoming staff with lived experience of a wide range of issues. A lived experience steering group has completed a comprehensive gap analysis to strengthen foundations for further development, as well as future improvements.

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