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Black patients treated unfairly

21st November 2006

05102006_mentalhealthward1.jpgA third of black mental health patients feel they are discriminated against in healthcare - twice that of other racial groups.

The figures are revealed in the Count Me In survey which highlighted different experiences of mental healthcare by ethnic groups. The results have been described as 'shocking' by Lord Kamlesh Patel, chair of the Mental Health Act Commission, which carried out the survey.

It found more than a quarter of black patients surveyed said nursing staff rarely or never treated them fairly, while 15 per cent said staff were rarely or never polite. Both figures represent twice as many as other ethnic groups.

A total of 425 patients were interviewed in 41 services across England and Wales. Just over half said their treatment plan had been well explained on admission. Forty per cent reported use of restraint.

Sixteen per cent said they had received unwanted sexual advances from patients and 4 per cent reported such advances from staff.

The survey has led to an action plan for improved staff training on ethnicity and culture, and an audit on the use of restraint.

The report is the second annual survey commissioned as part of the government's Delivering Race Equality in Mental Health action plan aiming to improve services during the next five years.


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