Mind comments on shocking true picture of mixed-sex wards and racial discrimination in NHS
Posted Thursday 6 December 2007
Shocking true picture of mixed-sex wards: 68 per cent of mental health inpatients on these
Racial discrimination shows no improvement
Today's patient research reveals the true state of mixed-sex wards: a disturbing 68 per cent of mental health patients were accommodated on these wards this year. This confirms what patients have been telling Mind for years (1), underlining the need for urgent action to address this situation. The Count Me In census (2), brought in as part of Delivering Race Equality in Mental Health Care, also shows no improvement in racial discrimination in the NHS, with some black men (Black Other) 79 per cent more likely than average to be secluded - locked away in a room by themselves.
Census data includes:
- Black Afro-Caribbean and Black Other: 3 times more likely to be detained than average
- Black Other (not Afro-Caribbean): over 10 times more likely to be detained
- Black Caribbean men: 33 per cent more likely to be secluded than average
- Black Other: 79 per cent more likely to be secluded than average
- Note: Black Other group is most likely to be second or third generation young men.
Paul Farmer, Mind's Chief Executive says: "Mind is sadly unsurprised at this truly appalling picture of the mixed-sex wards scandal, with more than two-thirds of our most vulnerable people caught up in the worst of it. For too long, Government ministers relied on misleading figures (3), rather than listening to patients themselves. Such wards are notorious for incidents of sexual harassment and abuse: hospitals should be a place of safety and recovery, not of danger and deterioration.
"We are deeply concerned about the continuing high levels of racial discrimination in the NHS, and urge for the delivery of racial equality to be at the heart of all mental health service, with ring-fenced funding. We must have a joined-up approach to tackle the widespread issues around the experience of BME communities in the mental health system."