Inexcusable racial inequalities unchanged in six years
Posted Wednesday 6 April 2011
Final Count-me-in census shows sustained discrimination in mental health
Mind is today disappointed by findings from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) that show little progress has been made in reducing the mental health admission rate for Black and minority ethnic groups.
A staggering 23% of inpatients in mental health services in 2010 belonged to BME groups despite continued efforts over the last six years to reduce admissions.
The CQC’s Count me in census of mental health hospital inpatients was established in 2005 as part of the Government’s five-year action plan Delivering Race Equality (DRE). However, as the census delivers its final report today, it is clear that there has been no change in service delivery, with the rates of admission, detention under the Mental Health Act, and seclusion (three of the DRE’s 12 goals) effectively unchanged.
The admission rate for people from the ‘Other Black’ group is still six times higher than average, plus average detention rates remain higher than in all other groups. Compared to 2005, for White and Caribbean, White and Black African, Black Caribbean and Black African, rates of detention have actually increased.
Continued use of same-sex wards brings further cause for concern as data shows 61% of men and 77% of women were not in a ward designated for single-sex use, replicating the alarming figures of the past six years.
Chief Executive of Mind Paul Farmer said:
It is inexcusable that six years down the line, people from Black and other minority ethnic groups are still subject to discrimination within the mental health system. Today’s CQC report confirms the continued failure to provide fair and uniform mental health care for all, irrespective of racial background. It is unacceptable that people from some Black and Minority Ethnic groups are six times as likely to be admitted to hospital and such gross inequalities within the system cannot go on.
To see another year with mental health patients placed in mixed-sex wards is utterly disheartening. The government’s announcement to fine hospitals £250 for every breach of mixed sex accommodation could not have come soon enough. It is simply not acceptable to expose vulnerable individuals to damaging care environments, risking their safety and compromising their recovery. We wait with anticipation as the Government actions plans to penalise breach of mixed sex accommodation, with the hope that hospitals will finally take long overdue steps to protect their patients.
We welcomed the Department of Health’s Delivering Race Equality strategy however six years on we have seen little real change and it is clear that the problems run deep. The Government’s new mental health strategy must look to address the continued inequalities in mental health. We urge the Government to prioritise the need for prevention, early intervention and collaboration across sectors to critically reduce risk of admission and detention.
For more information, interviews or case studies please contact the Mind media team
T: 020 8522 1743
m: 07850 788514
ISDN facilities are available for broadcast media interviews.