RCPsych working to become ‘an anti-racist organisation’

The College is proud to confirm that it is now officially working towards becoming an anti-racist organisation.

At its meeting, last month, the College's Council backed the aim for the RCPsych to be an anti-racist organisation.

Tackling racism is a central strand of the RCPsych Equality Action Plan, and over the last few years, we have made huge strides on promoting equality, diversity and inclusion for people who are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic.

Among a range of measures:

  • We now proudly mark Black History Month and South Asian History Month every year, as major events, with podcasts, videos and webinars.
  • We support the work of the NHS Race and Health Observatory and our President Dr Adrian James is on its board.
  • We run the Advancing Mental Health Equality (AMHE) quality improvement collaborative, through which a number of mental health services are supported to take a systematic approach to tackling health inequalities in their part of the country.
  • We champion and support the implementation of NHS England’s Patient and Carers’ Race Equality Framework (PCREF) .
  • We have appointed two Presidential Leads on Race and Equality: Dr Lade Smith CBE and Dr Raj Mohan.
  • We published guidance, during the pandemic, on COVID-19 risk mitigation for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff in mental healthcare settings.
  • We updated the curricula for trainee psychiatrists, to include wording around structural inequalities and power differentials within mental health.
  • We help tackle differential attainment in our MRCPsych exam by running intensive masterclasses for international medical graduates and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic trainees – and deliver the actions set out in the Fair Exam strategy.
  • We have highlighted the racism that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic psychiatrists face in mental health services, through interviews with the national media.
  • We follow equal opportunities best practice in all our recruitment and retention practices for College staff roles – including reaching out to people who are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic through appropriate job boards.
  • We have reduced the ethnicity pay gap among our 440 staff to 5.81%, compared to a London average of around 24%, with most of our staff working in the capital.

In addition, we were the first Medical Royal College to issue a statement condemning all forms of racism in the aftermath of the shocking murder of George Floyd in May 2020.

While the College has taken a whole of host of actions to tackle racism, and is seen as a leader in this field, discrimination – based on race – is so deeply embedded in all long-standing UK institutions that we know there will inevitably be more to do in order to ensure full race equality across all parts of the College.

President Dr Adrian James said:

"I'm delighted that the College is officially becoming an anti-racist organisation – and that this ambition has been backed by Council.

"It is totally unacceptable that any psychiatrists, or any members of the multidisciplinary team, face any form of race discrimination in this day and age.

"It is equally unacceptable for any patients or carers to face race discrimination, or less-than-equal service, from mental health service providers, as a result of conscious or unconscious bias on the part of staff.

"We published a statement a number of years ago highlighting the fact that racism is a key driver of mental illness for people who are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic – and it is vital that we root out all forms of racism and discrimination everywhere within the field of mental health."

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