over disproportionate rate black people detained in psychiatric
by Samantha Clarke
row over the vastly disproportionate rate that black people are
detained in psychiatric units intensified yesterday after the release
of figures indicating no improvement since the government vowed
to tackle the problem three years ago.
Black and ethnic minority people are up to five times more likely
to be admitted and three times more likely to be compulsory detained
than white people, the Healthcare Commission reported.
is the same rate as 2005, the year ministers launched a five-year
action plan detailing how the government planned to root out anti-discriminatory
practice in mental health care.
care services minister Phil Hope said he believed progress has been
made campaigners said racial discrimination is still “entrenched”
in mental health services.
Hope said: "Mental health services still need to do more to
meet the needs of diverse communities and tackle inequalities in
Delivering Race Equality action plan, supported by over 400 new
community development workers across the country, has already helped
to deliver progress and remains the blueprint for services to follow."
But Mind's chief executive Paul Farmer said: “Three years
into the Delivering Race Equality programme, it's unacceptable that
the government appears no closer to providing a fair and equal experience
of mental health care to people of all races.”
some researchers argue racism is not the main cause for the disproportionate
rates of admission and detention.
In 2006 professors Swaran Singh and Tom Burns argued in the British
Medical Journal that the disproportionate rate may be due more to
the social exclusion and low socio-economic standing of black and
ethnic minority people.
said evidence showed that rates of psychiatric disorder are high
for all migrants, irrespective of ethnicity.
Campaigners were also furious that the commission's Count Me In
census found 68% of psychiatric inpatients not being on single-sex
wards. They are particularly concerned about vulnerable female patients
sharing wards with male patients.
Farmer said: "The NHS is allowing some of our most vulnerable
patients to be treated in some of its most hostile care environments,
and people who are in most need of support are left living in fear."
Mr Hope said around 75% of mental health beds are in single-sex
ward areas, but it was often lounge areas that were not.
have called on PCTs to agree and publish challenging plans for improvement,"
fourth Count Me In annual census was held on March 31 and collected
information on 31,020 mental health and learning disability inpatients
in 255 NHS and independent providers in England and Wales.
Me In Census 2008
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