Response to the NHS Race and Health Observatory report

On Monday, 14 February 2022, the NHS Race and Health Observatory published a rapid review of ethnic inequalities in healthcare and within the NHS workforce.

Based on a review of 178 studies, the 'Ethnic Inequalities in Healthcare: A Rapid Evidence Review' includes findings and recommendations across ethnic inequalities in mental health services, maternal and neonatal healthcare, digital inclusion and access to health services, genetic testing and genomic medicine studies, and NHS workforce.

The review found that ethnic inequalities were evident in each of the areas reviewed but that some groups have particularly poor access, experiences and outcomes, and that some inequalities present for adult populations were replicated in younger populations. 

Responding to the report, Dr Camilla Kingdon, RCPCH President said:

The report makes for a sobering read of the overwhelming evidence of ethnic health inequality affecting both patients and colleagues in the NHS. It is important not to shy away from this issue and take action when and where it is needed. I am delighted that there is specific focus on maternal and neonatal healthcare, as well as barriers to accessing mental health services for Black Caribbean and Black African young people.  This level of detail allows us the opportunity to examine how and where to improve.  The call for improvement is made loud and clear, and is not optional.

I commend the time that has been taken to include guides for policymakers to understand the depth of the issues and the solutions that should be taken forward. As a College we will take note of the recommendations presented on how real change can be achieved.