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Race Relations

Volume 407: debated on Friday 20 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in his Department and non-departmental public bodies on implementing the requirements of the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000; and if he will publish the results of the monitoring required by the Act. [117621]

The Department is committed to transforming the health and social care system so that it produces faster, fairer services that deliver better health and social care and tackle inequalities. Achieving sustainable improvements in health and services for black and minority ethnic people is an integral and vital aspect of this programme of investment and reform.The Department's Race Equality Scheme covers the Department, Executive Agencies and the Directorates of Health and Social Care. Strategic health authorities, primary care trusts, national health service trusts and special health authorities are subject to the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 and are required to publish a Race Equality Scheme setting out how they intend to promote race equality within their organisation.The Department's strategy for meeting the needs of minority ethnic communities is to set action on race equality within the overall framework for planning and delivering the Department's priorities. The Department has a detailed programme of work under way to take forward our race equality commitments and has strengthened the arrangements for supporting and accounting for progress on race equality. A board level equality review programme has recently been carried out to develop a corporate framework for setting priorities and reviewing progress including those made in the Department's Race Equality Scheme.On 10 March 2003, the Department published "Inside Out", a report making recommendations for improving mental health services for black and minority ethnic groups. The report was developed with the close involvement of local communities and black and minority ethnic stakeholders and provides part of a race impact assessment on mental health. This has provided the evidence to show that there is impact, which is adverse, disproportionate and unjustifiable in terms of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act. The Department will be taking remedial action and will be publishing a remedial action plan for consultation in 2003.As required by its employment duties, the Department will be publishing a report later this summer on the ethnic monitoring data collected so far and also has a programme of work under way to put in place the additional monitoring arrangements required.