Parent organisation of Community Links, Foundation and Bridging the Gap

Inspire North signs UK’s first pledge to eliminate ethnic inequality in mental health

We are pleased to announce that Inspire North has signed up to the UK’s first nationwide pledge to reduce ethnic and racial inequalities in mental healthcare.

The UK’s first national pledge calling on senior leaders in NHS mental health trusts, public bodies and commissioning to declare their commitment to reduce ethnic inequalities in mental health care launches today (Wednesday 5th August 2020) with 30 inaugural signatories.

A ‘Statement of Intent’, the pledge is spearheaded by the Synergi Collaborative Centre in response to the lack of progress made over the past 30 years to tackle ethnic inequalities for those diagnosed with a severe mental illness, and the disproportionate risks Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities face in mental health services.

Against the backdrop of George Floyd’s killing, the Black Lives Matter anti-racist protests worldwide, and the systemic inequalities highlighted by Covid-19, CEOs, medical and nursing directors of NHS Mental Health Trusts, commissioners and public bodies (as pledge signatories) will take action to:

1. Initiate fundamental service level changes to reduce ethnic inequalities in access, experience and outcomes.
2. Measure, monitor and report the nature and extent of ethnic inequalities and progress made.
3. Work in partnership with local BAME communities, service users and relevant community agencies.
4. Provide national leadership on this critical issue.
5. Ensure inclusive and sustainable change in our localities and communities.
6. Support timely and progressive research and policy development.
7. Contribute to a biannual progress update as part of this Statement of Intent.

Kamaldeep Bhui, Synergi’s Director and Professor of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, said:
“I’m delighted as Director of the Synergi Collaborative Centre to launch this powerful alliance between the NHS, local government, charity providers and BAME community groups in a national movement to transform mental health systems to be less institutionally racist, more enabling, thoughtful and inclusive; one that respects the workforce and acknowledges that all people need health care in the NHS.”

Ruth Kettle, CEO of Inspire North, and Claire Vilarrubi, Chair of the Board, released a statement detailing our own Ending Racism is Everyone’s Business pledge. Read it here.