Kamaldeep Bhui, Director of Synergi Collaborative Centre and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, said,
This is a powerful alliance between the NHS, local government, charity providers and BAME community groups. It forms part of a national movement to transform mental health systems to be less institutionally racist, more enabling, thoughtful and inclusive; one that respects the workforce and acknowledges that all people need health care in the NHS. - Professor Kamaldeep Bhui.
The pledge is part of a national Statement of Intent and it comes in response to the lack of progress made over the past 30 years to tackle ethnic inequalities for those diagnosed with a severe mental illness, and the disproportionate risks Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities face in mental health services.
Against the backdrop of George Floyd’s killing, the Black Lives Matter anti-racist protests worldwide, and the systemic inequalities highlighted by Covid-19, CEOs, medical and nursing directors of NHS Mental Health Trusts, commissioners and public bodies (as pledge signatories) will take actions to:
- Initiate fundamental service level changes to reduce ethnic inequalities in access, experience and outcomes
- Measure, monitor and report the nature and extent of ethnic inequalities and progress made
- Work in partnership with local BAME communities, service users and relevant community agencies
- Provide national leadership on this critical issue
- Ensure inclusive and sustainable change in our localities and communities
- Support timely and progressive research and policy development
- Contribute to a biannual progress update as part of this Statement of Intent
Read the full press release.