Young People's Health Service

  • Overview

    The Young People's Health Service (YPHS) provides primary health care and opportunistic and strategic health interventions to adolescents and young adults (12 – 24 years) who are homeless or marginalised. The YPHS works from Frontyard Youth Services (Melbourne City Mission) on King Street in the Melbourne CBD

    YPHS was established in 1991 following recommendations in the 'Our Homeless Children' Report of the National Inquiry into Homeless Children by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (1989). The social model of health acts as the foundation of YPHS practice and acknowledges social inequality as a key determinant of ill health.

    Access

    Clinic hours are 12noon – 5pm Monday to Friday

    • No appointment.
    • No GP referral
    • No charge
    • No Medicare card

    Drop in to Frontyard and ask for the health service.

    Location and contact

    Telephone: 9611 2409 (you might have to leave a message)
    Email: young.people@rch.org.au
    Address: Frontyard Youth Services, 19 King Street, Melbourne

    The service

    YPHS provides primary health care. Some of the areas that primary health care addresses are:

    • Preventative Health Advice
    • Skin conditions and infections (rashes, scabies, lice)
    • Soft tissue injury and wound care
    • Support with drug and alcohol issues (AOD) including Single Session therapy
    • Immunisations
    • Immigrant health screens
    • Blood borne virus screening (Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV)
    • Screening and treatment of sexually transmissible infections (STI's)
    • Contraception advice
    • Implanon insertion and removal
    • Contraception Injections
    • Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)
    • Pregnancy testing
    • Referral for unplanned pregnancy/referral to ante natal care
    • Sexuality concerns or questions
    • Emotional and mental health support

    The first visit includes an assessment using the HEADSS psychosocial health tool that provides an overview and identifies points for intervention in discussion. The nurses provide youth focussed health assessments, screening, treatment, information and referral. A visit to YPHS will be up to 60 minutes to allow adequate time for the assessment. 

    The Young People’s Health Service is part of Frontyard’s integrated intake and assessment. Any young person seeking health care will be linked to the service. The Frontyard Intake Team may also recommend that YPHS to those dropping on for other reasons.

    Clinical outreach

    YPHS provides Clinical Refuge Outreach to an inner-city refuge and Clinical Street Outreach. Barriers such as lack of finance, transport, a support person, knowledge of services and negative past experiences with health professionals can contribute not person accessing health services. The goal of clinical outreach is to improve access to health care for young people who do not access Frontyard Youth Services.

    The team

    YPHS is run by a team of skilled and specialised nurses. Recognising adolescent health as a specialty area, the nurses are experienced and educated in this field.

    • Dot Henning: Nurse Practitioner - enhances the scope of health interventions to include prescribing medications, initiating diagnostic imaging and laboratory testing and referring to specialists.
    • Christine Parrott: Clinical Nurse Consultant - delivers clinical consultancy services to young people and health professionals at multiple campuses/worksites.
    • Stuart Cook: Clinical Nurse Consultant - delivers clinical consultancy services to young people and health professionals at multiple campuses/worksites.

    In addition to the nurse team advanced paediatric medical trainees undergoing specialist adolescent training at The RCH attends for several hours twice a week to provide consultancy and medical support including diagnosis, prescription and specialist referrals (not General Practitioners so not able to write Mental Health Care Plans

    Programme logic

    Primary health care is the first level of contact that individuals have with the health care system. In Australia and incorporates personal care with health promotion, the prevention of illness and community development.

    A Young People’s Health Service program logic model was developed to articulate the various components of the service and the intended outcomes.

    Why young people's health?

    Young people are generally healthy. It is their behaviours, lifestyle or exposures that can put them at risk of poor health. Targeting interventions at these early stages can have a significant impact on their future health. Working with and educating young people to think about modifying their risk taking behaviours - such as unprotected sex, binge drinking, and smoking - is an important step to improving their long term health.

    Homeless young people have poorer health outcomes than their housed peers, yet are less likely and have greater difficulty accessing appropriate health services.

    YPHS aims to improve the health of their client group to match that of their housed peers.

    Publications

    2015

    • Parrott C, Henning D & Eade D. (2015) A Check Up. In: Under the Pump! Melb: John Cain Foundation
    • Henning D. (2014) Homeless Youth. In: Sexual Health – A Multidisciplinary Approach. Melb: IP Communications

    2013

    2009

    2007