Health Spot provides friendly and confidential health and wellbeing support for young people in a youth-friendly environment to tackle the barriers stopping them from getting the healthcare they need.
Created by Spotlight, Poplar HARCA’s youth provision, and Tower Hamlets GP Care Group and based in Spotlight’s main youth centre, this GP service is free for 11-19-year-olds (up to 25 for those facing additional challenges).
Health Spot delivers a mix of GP appointments with doctors experienced in supporting young people with their health needs, as well as mental health counselling & therapy, sexual health advice, and alcohol & substance misuse support in collaboration with local services Docklands Outreach and Safe East. Young people also have the option of being supported by a youth worker through every step of the process, including in the appointments themselves. Young people can also be referred to Spotlight’s high-end programme of creative, sporting, and inspiring activities as part of a commitment to social prescribing.
After hearing that young people were struggling to access and navigate current health services, Health Spot was founded to provide young people with direct access to a doctor in a way that has not been done before. This service aims to offer the right care, right place, right time to help prevent young people from falling through the gaps.
The service was the result of three years of planning and was co-designed by young people and professionals based in Tower Hamlets. While its opening in April 2020 was impacted by the pandemic, meaning that the hub had to open with remote appointments, it now runs weekly in-person appointments with the continued option of remote support.
Young people’s voices continue to be championed by the youth work team who ensure the service remains relevant and able to meet young people’s needs.
““Health Spot has benefitted me massively and if I did not have Spotlight to turn to then I wouldn’t know what to do” “I am honestly so grateful that I have Health Spot to fall back on when my health is not great” – Health Spot Service user
“The call was very confidential and I felt safe and felt like I could say anything because I trust you guys” – Health Spot Service user
“Having the youth worker in the call made me feel calm and supported, which helped me to express myself” – Health Spot Service user