NHS mental health failures hit African Caribbean’s hardest

A government report published last week has exposed failings in the delivery of acute inpatient mental health services within the NHS. Matilda Attram, director of Black Mental Health has expressed concerns that these failures will hit African Caribbean patients hardest, particularly as
they are currently overrepresented in the system.

The Healthcare Commission assessed 69 NHS trusts providing acute inpatient mental health services in England. This covered 554 wards providing almost 10,000 beds for patients between the ages of 18 and 65. Overall, eight trusts were rated as “excellent” (accounting for 843 beds - 9%), 20 as “good” (2,808 beds - 28%), 30 as “fair” (3,985 beds - 40%) and 11 as “weak”.

The organisation which campaigns for the rights of Black mental health patients have also criticised the untimely closure of community projects that had plugged the service gap in the past.

Matilda Attram commented :-

The over representation of patients from the African Caribbean communities who find themselves on locked  wards, means that these failure will hit black people hardest , which is unacceptable . This year marks the 10th anniversary since the tragic death of David Bennett.  His treatment and care while in acute mental health services typifies the black experience.  Millions of pounds and a decade later after Bennett's death, where is the improvement?

There is evidence to prove that community services are far more cost effective and are better equipped to ensure patients stay well. This is a travesty, that could all so easily be avoided.

A total of 9 organisations have stopped receiving funding from the NHS, in light of these failings the mental health charity is seeking a review of this position.


posted by
Asif Yusuf



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