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Improving pathways to care is one of the aims of the Department of Health's plan for improving mental health services for black and minority ethnic (BME) groups. However, service providers have not been supplied with the information and advice on how to improve routes into and through their services for ethnic minorities. The Enhancing Pathways Into Care (EPIC) project provided four clinical teams and mental health providers a process of focused consultancy and a collaborative learning network in order to evolve pathways to recovery. This paper documents the project implementation between January 2006 and March 2007. We report here the key lessons about recruiting innovative and gifted sites to this programme, and the benefits in terms of team development, understanding leadership and operational delivery of a vision. Three of the four sites completed an evaluation consisting of a race equality impact assessment. The project revealed that keys to success include a reflective use of team strengths, engagement of stakeholders from boardroom to clinical teams, transformational leadership, transmission of leadership to more appropriate leaders for different stages of the project, a reflective learning style that permits obstacles to be embraced and managed, and cycles of movement between 'ideological' and 'operational' phases of the project. © 2009 Informa UK Ltd.

Original publication




Journal article


International Review of Psychiatry

Publication Date





450 - 459