Seventeen sites across the England will pioneer best practice in eliminating discrimination in mental health care, health minister Rosie Winterton has announced.
The sites will support the implementation of Delivering Race Equality in Mental Health Care, an action plan for reform both inside and outside NHS mental health services over the next five years, published in January this year.
Implementation of the plan should have begun everywhere, but the sites will act as ‘hothouses of reform’, identifying best practice and spreading what they learn across the whole country.
One of the stated aims of Delivering Race Equality in Mental Health Care is to create a workforce in NHS trusts that has the knowledge and skills to deliver equitable care to black and minority ethnic populations, with support from the Royal College of Psychiatrists and better race equality training.
Winterton said that black and minority ethnic patients faced significant and unacceptable inequalities in the access to mental health services, both in their experience of those services and in the outcomes.
"Delivering Race Equality is a clear and comprehensive action plan for making sure that progress continues and accelerates,” she said.
“These sites are the next steps towards making it happen on the ground, and I hope that they will be a valuable source of best practice and support for the rest of the NHS."