Trusts slammed for race data failings

The Commission for Racial Equality has blasted mental health trusts after it emerged that just one had complied with statutory requirements to publish race equality information.

The CRE said the finding, in a Healthcare Commission audit of NHS trusts’ compliance with three requirements under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, was “nothing short of a disgrace”, given well-documented racial in- equalities in mental health services.

Director of policy and public sector Nick Johnson (pictured) warned that the CRE may use its enforcement powers against non-compliant trusts.

The Healthcare Commission found that just one mental health trust had published its race equality scheme, employment monitoring statistics and the outcomes of race equality impact assessments, as required by the act.

Johnson said: “It is staggering in light of all we know about the mental health experiences of ethnic minority communities that such a large proportion of mental health trusts are still not making it their priority.”

Following the audit, a campaign to place racial equality at the heart of mental health laws was started this week. Black Mental Health UK will lobby against the government’s plans to amend the Mental Health Act 1983. Supporters include race equality campaign groups the Afiya Trust and the Black Londoners Forum, and the Mental Health Alliance.

Race relations health consultant Matilda MacAttram, who is heading the campaign, said it wanted the 1983 act “scrutinised through the lens of race”.

Further information
Healthcare Commission audit
Black Mental Health UK

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