Date Published: 21 January 2010

Action needed over high BME admission rates, according to the Mental Health Foundation

Mental Health issues - UK

In response to the publication of Count me in 2009 (the fifth national census of the ethnicity of inpatients in the NHS and independnent mental health and learning disability services), by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Simon-Lawton Smith said:

" It's hugely disappointing that the picture provided by these reports remains pretty much the same year after year, despite the recognised need for something to be done to lower the rate of hospital admissions among black and minority ethnic groups.

We must provide better community and early intervention services for these groups. This should help people stay well in the community. The CQC is right to call for health and social care to work with others such as the police and housing organisations.

More research and targeted services needed

Mr Lawton-Smith added that more research and better targeting of services is needed if services are to be more effective:

" We need to better understand how individuals from black and white/black mixed communities end up in hospital in the first place. People from these groups are less likely to be referred by their GPs and community health teams and more likely to reach hospital after contact with the police. We need to find out why primary care and other local services are not reaching these groups and help them support vulnerable individuals better.

We also need to look carefully at the role of Community Treatment Orders (CTOs), given that their introduction was partly justified on the basis that compulsory treatment in the community would reduce the overall hospitalisation rate. At the moment we just don't know if this is the case.

Source: Mental Health Foundation, UK.

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