BME Consultation on Mental Health Bill is “Last Minute”

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.