Centre for Mental Health welcomes patient and carer race equality framework and calls for full implementation throughout NHS

30 October 2023

Today, NHS England published the Patient and Carer Race Equality Framework (PCREF), a new system for supporting race equity in NHS mental health services.

The PCREF was a major recommendation of the 2018 Independent Review of the Mental Health Act. Its publication today as a framework for all NHS mental health service providers in England is a major step towards racial justice in a system that too often treats people inequitably.

Andy Bell, chief executive at Centre for Mental Health, said: “People from racialised communities in England have far poorer experiences of mental health services: with less access to talking therapies, much higher rates of coercion, and poorer outcomes. This is an injustice that has to end.

“The PCREF, created through the leadership of Dr Jacqui Dyer, provides a framework for mental health services to shift the dial on race equality. It sets out the systemic changes that service providers must take to be able to offer anti-racist, anti-oppressive mental health care to everyone.

“The PCREF must be at the heart of the mental health services of the future – starting today. It has the potential to create system change that will benefit everyone. To fulfil that potential, it needs to be implemented in full, with the necessary resources provided and the time to bring about sustainable change to services and systems.

“Previous attempts to address racial inequities in mental health services have been under-resourced or stopped before they had a chance to make a lasting difference. So the PCREF must be given the time and resources to work for the communities that are currently so poorly served by the NHS.

“The Government must also now step up and bring forward a Mental Health Bill to implement the legislative changes recommended by the Independent Review. A modernised Mental Health Act can help to reduce the stark disparities in its current operation.”

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