Plans for the Department of Health to meet with representatives from BME communities this week to discuss the proposed Mental Health Bill – part of the Government’s Race Equality Impact Assessment on the Bill – have been labelled last-minute and insufficient by BME organisations.
Mental Health lawyer Chinyere Inyama told the Black Information Link website: “The Department of Health have not taken their responsibility seriously when it comes to the race equality process.”
Consultant Psychiatrist Professor Suman Fernando added: “Attendance of ethnic minorities at these meetings scheduled this week will allow them to rush through a Race Equality Impact Assessment, passing these meetings off as consultation with BME communities.
“I don’t think they would have done this to a white group.”
Members of the BME community will be meeting in London today to discuss their position before attending a Department of Health consultation. Lee Jasper, Chairman of the African and Caribbean Mental Health Commission, stated: “This pre meeting has been called for black professional and service users to come together to devise a strategy to force the Department of Health to conduct a proper race impact assessment before [the Bill] goes to Parliament.”
For more information on the London meeting, click here.