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BME mental health admissions 'too high'

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Some black and minority ethnic groups are three or more times more likely than average to be admitted as inpatients in mental health and learning disability services, according to the Healthcare Commission.

A census, conducted on March 30 this year, collected information on 31,187 inpatients in mental health wards at 257 NHS and independent healthcare organisations in England and Wales.

Anna Walker, chief executive of the Healthcare Commission, said: ‘We would like a dialogue with local agencies and with mental health and learning disability organisations that have high numbers of black and minority ethnic patients, such as those in London, Leeds and Birmingham.

‘With their knowledge, we can begin to look at the problems within the communities and bring together local agencies to tackle the issues that cause some black and minority ethnic groups to have higher rates of mental illness,’

Dr Ian McPherson, director of the National Institute for Mental Health in England, said: ‘The continuing high level of representation of some groups in inpatient care shows that much more needs to be done.’

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