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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

OP71. Improving In-patient Mental Health Services for Black and Minority Ethnic Patients

Price: £0.00

Published: Feb 2010

Status: current

Number of pages: 34

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There are 4.6 million people from Black and minority ethnic (BME) groups in the UK. Reported problems which members of these groups can face in relation to in-patient mental health service provision include: sociocultural difficulties (health beliefs and mistrust of services); systemic problems (lack of culturally competent practices in mental health services); economic issues; and individual barriers (denial of mental health problems).

Research shows that BME groups are more likely than average to be admitted to mental health hospitals. Some BME groups also experience different pathways into acute care, and it is important to avoid aggregating all ethnic groups together where possible. Since 2003, a number of policy directives have addressed the needs of BME in-patients. However, concerns remain about the care provided to BME in-patients.

This report forms an important addition to ongoing discussions about improving care and treatment for people from Black and minority ethnic communities. It is based on discussions held by an independent expert panel at the Royal College of Psychiatrists and is very closely linked to a review of the standards used by the College Centre for Quality Improvement (CCQI) in three of their in-patient accreditation networks which (directly or indirectly) relate to the care of Black and minority ethnic in-patients on acute mental health wards.

The report makes subsequent recommendations for:
  • Improvements to existing standards
  • Issues to be formulated into new standards
  • Guidance or information that might accompany existing or new standards.

The recommendations are presented in the following format:

  • Recommendation heading
  • A brief description of the issue
  • Where relevant information is available, a description of how the CCQI is already addressing the issue
  • A bulleted list of recommendations.



Staff skills

1. Discussing and understanding the needs of BME patients

The patient journey

2. Admission

3. Initial assessment and care planning

4. Continuing assessment

5. Medication

6. Activities, therapies and links

7. Discharge

8. Ward environment: violence, abuse and other issues

9. Ethnicity data collection

10. Other issues

Staff needs

11. Education, training and support for staff

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