Racial disparity in people raising concerns about care

Research undertaken for the Care Quality Commission has revealed those from a black and minority ethnic (BME) background are less likely to raise concerns about the standard of care they receive.

Part of their year-long ‘Declare Your Care’ campaign, the CQC found that 48 per cent of BME people with a previous mental health problem have wanted to raise concerns about mental health services, compared to just 13 per cent of non-BME people with a mental health problem.

Additionally, 84 per cent of BME people with a mental health problem have also wanted to raise concerns or make complaints about the standard of their care more generally, in comparison to 63 per cent of non-BME people with a mental health problem.

Reasons given for why people don’t feed back on their standard of care include not knowing who to raise it with and not wanting to be a ‘troublemaker’ (both 33 per cent). Additionally, 37 per cent felt that nothing would be changed by speaking up.

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.

“Hearing from people about their experiences of care, good or bad, is an important part of our inspection work and contributes to improving standards. We ask everyone to play a part both by giving feedback directly to services, and by sharing their experiences with CQC. Through this we can shine a spotlight on best practice and act when there is substandard care.”

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