Leicester NHS trust accused of Institutional Racism

In a stinging attack Chief Executive of Leicester NHS Trust Anthony Sheehan has accused his own organisation of institutional racism'. Speaking to the BBC about the lack of support offered to Asian patients suffering mental health problems the chairman of the NHS trust made the claim.

In an article posted on the BBC website Mr Sheehan commented:-

"We really should acknowledge the impact of institutional racism in mental health and wider health and social care services, in the same way it is recognised in the criminal justice system.

"The real issue is just how we've chosen not to connect with these communities."

The comments are off the back of the governments first national report on the experience of patients in black and minority ethnic groups. It showed that discrimination continued to afflict the delivery of mental health. The report also reveals that South Asians keep mental health problems under wraps for longer periods, due to the stigma associated within the community. A serious concern as undetected mental problems can worsen significantly.

Some observers have linked the lack of support to the high suicide rate among Asian Women. Lord Kamlesh Patel believes the problem is much worse than most people think within the Asian community - speaking to the BBC in response Mr Sheehan's comments the chairman of the Mental Health Act Commission commented:-

"If we ignore the message then in the next 10 to 20 years we're very likely to see the same numbers of South Asians enter the mental health system as Afro Caribbeans are now.

"That's completely unacceptable in the 21st century."


Posted by Asif Yusuf

Publisher of Diversity Link



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