Published On: 6 November 2023Tags: , , ,

NHS England has launched its first ever anti-racism framework for mental health trusts and providers across the country. The new Patient and Carer Race Equality Framework (PCREF) aims to support organisations in becoming actively anti-racist by requiring them to implement concrete actions to reduce racial inequalities.

The mandatory framework focuses on three key areas: 

  • leadership and governance, 
  • data collection, and 
  • feedback mechanisms. 

Under the framework, trust boards will be required to develop and monitor plans to address health disparities. Organisations will also need to publish new data on progress in reducing inequalities, as well as report ethnicity data across all existing datasets. In addition, visible channels will be established for patient and carer feedback, with clear processes to act on and report back on that input.  

The PCREF brings significant change to the mental health sector by promoting co-production with diverse communities at the centre of service design and delivery. Four NHS trusts piloted the framework starting in 2020, with six more joining as early adopters last year. Their work informed the national rollout beginning this year.

The anti-racism initiative is part of NHS England’s broader Advancing Mental Health Equalities strategy. It also implements a key recommendation from the 2018 Independent Review of the Mental Health Act calling for action to address racial disparities. NHS England developed the PCREF with partners and will monitor its implementation, with the goal of increasing transparency and accountability around race inequalities in mental healthcare.