People from a black or minority ethnic (BME) background are far less likely than those from a non-BME background to raise concerns about the standards of care they receive, particularly in relation to mental health. research by the CQC has found.
Findings show that almost half (48%) of BME people with a previous mental health problem have wanted to raise concerns about mental health services but did not do so. This is compared to just 13% of non-BME people with a mental health problem.
Additionally, 84% of BME people with a mental health problem have wanted to raise concerns or make complaints about the standard of their care more generally, in comparison to 63% of non-BME people with a mental health problem.
Ian Trenholm, chief executive at the CQC said: “These findings demonstrate that there is still a significant disparity across different groups when it comes to providing feedback about standards of healthcare services. It is essential that everyone feels comfortable and confident about raising concerns about their care.”
The research was undertaken as part of CQC’s year-long Declare Your Care campaign, which was launched in February to encourage people to speak up about their experiences of care and to improve standards of care in England.
It looked at people in England who have had a health service (NHS and private) or social care experience in the last 5 years, either as a patient or carer.
Reasons highlighted as to why people don’t feed back on their standard of care include not knowing who to raise it with (33%) and not wanting to be a ‘troublemaker’ (33%). Additionally, a third of people asked (37%) felt that nothing would be changed by speaking up.
However, when people did raise a concern or complaint, the majority (66%) found their issue was resolved quickly, it helped the service to improve or they were happy with the outcome.
Jabeer Butt OBE, chief executive at the Race Equality Foundation said:”Too many people in the UK experience poor care, and we know that black and minority ethnic people are more likely to experience it and less likely to report or complain about it.
“We need to work together to build trust, so that when people do want to complain they can do so with confidence that action will be taken. That first step of speaking out can be very difficult, but it is absolutely necessary if we want things to get better.”