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EACEA National Policies Platform


7. Health and Well-Being

7.7 Making health facilities more youth friendly

Last update: 22 January 2021

LAST MODIFIED ON: 11/09/2020 - 13:10

The Department of Health issued Quality Criteria for Young People Friendly Health Services in 2011, along with a self-review tool. Recommendations included that:

  • Where there is a choice about service location, the service is accessible to young people by public transport.
  • Young people can use the service at times convenient to them where possible.
  • When making appointments and attending consultations, young people may express a preference about:
    • where they are seen
    • who they are seen by
    • attending with the support of a friend or partner
    • who and how many people are present during discussion, examination and treatment
    • the gender of the member of staff they are seen by.

Target groups identified include:

  • unaccompanied asylum seekers who are aged under 18
  • looked-after children and care leavers
  • teenagers living in neighbourhoods where there are high levels of teenage pregnancy and evidence of health inequalities
  • young people from black and minority ethnic communities
  • young people with any form of disability and/or sensory impairment
  • lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gendered young people
  • teenage parents
  • young people with long-term health needs.

In 2017, the Department of Health issued a Building Note with some design considerations for facilities for CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services)

The GP Champions project was a partnership between the Association for Young People’s Health (AYPH), the Royal College of General Practitioners’ (RCGP) Adolescent Health Group and Youth Access to improve provision for young people. It was funded by the Department of Health and Paul Hamlyn Foundation and ran from 2012-2015.

NHS England has a Youth Forum, made up of 25 young people from all over the country, who have a passion for improving health services for young people. The Youth Forum gives a voice to young people to express their thoughts on the health issues that matter most to them. It works directly with NHS England, Public Health England and the Department of Health enabling the Forum to have a real impact on the health services that young people use. The current issues the Youth Forum is working to tackle include: 

  •  Making sure young people understand their healthcare rights.
  • #yourhealthinyourhands – working to give young people control to prevent illness and stay well.
  • Improving opportunities for young people to get involved in primary care, for example in their GP or dental practice.
  • Developing ‘golden rules’ for good care, highlighting what young people need from their care pathway.

The NHS Youth Forum Impact Report 2013-2017 is available here. At the time of writing (July 2020), this is the most recent report available. 

In 2020, the NHS Youth Forum worked on several COVID-19 responses, inluding updating PHE guidance on shielding to make it relevant and accessible for young people and led social media campaigns such as #mycovid19pledge.  

Further information:

GP Champions project: What every GP practice can do to improve young people's health

GP Champions for Youth Health Project: Toolkit for General Practice (Association for Young People's Health/Youth Access/Royal College of General Physicians, 2015)