Health authorities have made only a “marginal improvement” in the already delayed recruitment of staff to help implement the government’s key race equality programme for mental health.
In a letter to strategic health authorities, health minister Rosie Winterton said only 158 community development workers had been recruited in England by last December and in some areas “recruitment has apparently barely even begun”.
Authorities were told in 2003 to appoint 500 workers by last December as part of the Delivering Race Equality programme. However, in October the target was put back a year because progress had been so slow.
The government expects 250 workers to be in place by March and Winterton said there was “much more to do” if that target was to be reached.
Winterton last week also launched a practical guide to delivering race equality in mental health care.