Higher Admission And Retention Levels For Ethnic Minorities In Mental Health

The chairman of the Healthcare Commission has called for the mandatory recording of the ethnicity of all patients using mental health and learning disability services.

Professor Ian Kennedy’s call comes following the publication of results from the ‘Count Me In’ national census showing that some black and ethnic minority groups are three times more likely to be admitted to mental health hospitals.

 Recorded in England and Wales in March 2006, the census also demonstrates that black and white/black mixed groups were far more likely to admitted to hospital under the criminal justice system and retained for longer on average. Suggesting that the census could only provide a “snapshot” of the real picture, professor Kennedy called for more information to be gathered by the Department of Health and the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

“What is required is cooperation across government and beyond to address the factors, including the socio-economic factors, leading to these acute outcomes,” he added.

A third Count Me In census is underway across England and Wales.