A CLINIC catering for teenager's mental health in Teesside is looking to expand after being rated as "outstanding" by health inspectors.

Based at Eaglescliffe Health Practice, the Footsteps Teen Health Clinic offers young people aged between 11 and19 access to a “one-stop shop” for their mental, physical and sexual health needs.

And if it can access the funding it needs, it hopes to extend its work further.

Dr Fiona Smith, clinical lead at Footsteps, said: “If the funding is available, we can expand it to the whole of the Stockton and Billingham area, which would offer us the opportunity to run the clinic three to four days a week. Currently, it is two.

"That decision is being made and it is currently out of our hands.”

Set up in late 2018, the clinic was created after a significant proportion of young people with mental health problems did not meet the high threshold needed to access Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and were struggling to get help anywhere else.

The clinic offers a range of therapies, such as cognitive behaviour therapy, used for treating mild to moderate depression, anxiety and panic attacks or a history of self-harm.

Creative therapies, such as dance and yoga classes, are also put on by the clinic.

Starting out as a pilot scheme, the clinic covers TS15, 16 and 17, but has already seen interest from other areas of Stockton and Billingham.

Footsteps is currently waiting to find if there is funding available to continue or even potentially expand the clinic.

The service was rated as "outstanding" by the Care Quality Commission (CQC)) in a recent inspection.

Their report, published this month, said: “Patients said they had been treated with the utmost care and the staff and service had been faultless.”

“Feedback from patients who used the service, those close to them and external stakeholders was continually positive about the way staff cared for patients.”

The report says patients felt listened to and supported by staff, who “went the extra mile".

Dr Smith said: “I was absolutely delighted with the report, both with the outstanding rating from the CQC, but also the content, which we felt really reflected the ethos of our service and everything we have tried to create.

“We set out to design a service for young people that we felt was of quality and we feel that we’re filling the gap that we were trying to fill.

"I would be concerned about where they would go if the service was to close.”