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New £500,000 research project into inequalities for black & minority ethnic mental health patients

Researchers at the University of Warwick have been given over £500,000 to explore how to reduce inequalities and improve outcomes for black and minority ethnic mental health patients.

The project has been included in the first round of grants from the newly-established National Institute of Health Research, part of the Department of Health. Warwick Medical School Professor of Psychiatry Swaran Singh is leading the research. He said: “More than 60 bids went in from organisations and universities across the UK for this money so being given a grant is a huge boost for Warwick Medical School. This is the first year of such grants and they are considered very prestigious.” 

Previous studies have shown black and minority ethnic groups (BME) have high rates of psychosis, are more likely to experience adverse pathways into care, and are at greater risk of detention under the Mental Health Act. These patients are also more likely to be less satisfied with their care and have poorer outcomes, with greater social exclusion. This project aims to develop the knowledge base essential to reverse ethnic inequalities in care and outcome of first-episode psychosis in BME. The research team will look at the partnerships between early intervention services, voluntary sector and community groups in transforming the experience of mental health care for BME patients in Birmingham.

The Warwick project will be split into several studies conducted over a few years. Professor Singh said: “The research team consists of internationally recognised leaders in the field of ethnicity research, Early Intervention, epidemiology, health services evaluation, qualitative research and bio-medical statistics, and will work in collaboration with senior managers from the mental health trust, NGOs and BME community groups.”

This programme builds upon the existing successful partnership between Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust and a range of organisations including Connexions, Focus Futures and Future Health and Social Care. Researchers will also work with collaborators from the universities of Birmingham and Central England.  

For further information please contact:

Professor Sarwan Singh, Warwick Medical School
University of Warwick Tel: 024 7615 0190

Kelly Parkes, Communications Officer
Warwick Medical School 024 7615 0483

Peter Dunn, Press and Media Relations Manager
University of Warwick   07767 655860
02476 523708 

PR22 PJD  29th March  2007