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Mind responds to NHS Race and Health Observatory review of inequalities across healthcare

Monday, 14 February 2022 Mind

The Observatory has commissioned a major review into health inequalities across different healthcare services. Some of the largest inequalities were found for mental healthcare where treatment for Black communities was particularly poor.

Mind responds to NHS Race and Health Observatory review of inequalities across healthcare

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:

“Today’s rapid evidence review, commissioned by the NHS Race and Health Observatory, highlights the scale and prevalence of racial inequity across UK health services. The large-scale review confirms what people from racialised communities, alongside organisations like Mind, have been voicing for a long time – people from ethnic minorities face unequal access to, experiences of, and outcomes from the NHS, including mental health services. This represents nothing less than institutional and structural racism that will require a sustained and concerted effort by health service providers and UK Government to tackle.

“The report highlights worrying barriers to accessing mental health services experienced by people of colour and other minoritised groups, such as unaddressed distrust of service providers and lower referral rates to certain types of treatment, including talking therapies. As well as problems accessing services, the review outlines inequalities during treatment, with people from certain demographics– particularly Black communities – who more likely to be detained under section and greater use of potentially life-threatening practices such as face-down restraint and seclusion.

“This review should act as a wake up call to the UK Government and health services. Rooting out the system’s structural inequalities is essential if we are to provide people from minoritised ethnic groups with the care they deserve. In addition to following the recommendations made within this report, the UK Government must take thoughtful, determined and dedicated action during every step of their post-pandemic rebuilding of the healthcare system to address these inequalities, including building trust with diverse communities, listening to what is needed and commissioning effective, culturally appropriate and trauma-informed support. Anything less would only continue to fail ethnic minority communities."

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