The Department of Health yesterday launched a training programme for mental health practitioners to improve the way services are delivered to ethnic minority communities.
The Race Equality and Cultural Capability programme is the first national training initiative to be developed and delivered with ethnic minority service users.
The RECC was launched under the DH’s Delivery Race Equality in Mental Health Care programme, a five-year action plan published in January 2005 to develop services that meet the needs of ethnic minority communities.
Louis Appleby, national clinical director for mental health, said: “The close involvement of ethnic minority service users is unique and this will ensure that their concerns are at the forefront of training and the promotion of racial equality.”
The RECC programme focuses on developing practitioners’ knowledge of racism, cultural differences and the impact of discrimination.
S Afghan, a consultant psychiatrist from Walsall Training Teaching primary care trust who took part in the pilot training programme, said: “I strongly feel that if the concepts of RECC material are integrated into mental health and psychiatry training, there are likely to be far better outcomes and satisfaction levels for ethnic minority service users.”
The training materials were piloted in Hampshire and Isle of Wight PCT, North East London and City Mental Health Trust, Wolverhampton PCT and Bolton, Salford and Trafford NHS Trust and were developed by the National Institute for Mental Health in England.