South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust launches Anti-Racism Action Plan | Press releases

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South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust launches Anti-Racism Action Plan

Today we are taking an important step towards achieving our vision to lead anti-racism in mental health by 2026.

Our Anti-Racism Action Plan sets out the steps we will take to be a transparent, responsive, decent and equitable organisation that is a leader in fighting racism.

In common with all Trusts, structural racism affects both our work and our organisation, and we have a long way to go to become an actively anti-racist organisation. As we begin this journey, we want to be clear that anti-racism is active, and core to professional service delivery.

We want each and every person to receive outstanding treatment and support to enable recovery and lead a fulfilling life. To achieve this goal, fundamental change is needed to remove the conditions that hold systematic racism in place.

The action plan, which has been developed in partnership with staff, service users and carers and community leaders, builds on our anti-racism vision statement that we released in October 2022

The action plan will initially focus on five areas: workforce, service delivery, communication and engagement, research, and work with the Police.

This focus includes commitments to:

  • Support the continued implementation of the Patient and Carer Race Equality Framework (PCREF) in our service delivery
  • Improve the representation of ethnically and culturally diverse staff in senior roles
  • Host paid internships for postgraduate students and work experience placements for GCSE and T-level students from hard-to-reach backgrounds
  • Organise ‘being an ally’ training for staff, establish a quarterly anti-racism newsletter, and embed anti-racism into staff appraisals
  • Publish an ethnicity pay gap report
  • Improve data collection to analyse service users by ethnicity
  • Roll out Seni Lewis Training Programme for staff to understand how to manage challenging behaviour in a mental health context and avoid the use of restraint

Our Anti-Racism Plan sets out our vision for members of all communities, with a particular focus on our Black communities, to feel valued, supported and heard.

We will be collecting qualitative feedback from staff, service users, carers and communities to understand how it feels to work at the Trust or access our mental health services, and then act upon what they say. We will also be improving the quality of our data of those accessing our services and the treatment they receive so we can analyse how we can provide more equitable care.

David Bradley, Chief Executive of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust said:

Our Anti-Racism Action Plan, which we are proud to launch today, is an important step forward for the Trust. We pledged to lead anti-racism in mental health by 2026 and this plan outlines how we will do that.

I want to thank our service users, carers, staff and partners and the communities that we serve, who provided significant input for the Plan. We commit to becoming an anti-racist organisation to improve the lives of the people and communities we serve and to be an inclusive employer that champions and supports our culturally diverse staff.

The Anti-Racism Plan builds on wider work already being carried out through the South London Listens Programme, aimed at addressing wider socio-economic determinants of mental ill-health which disproportionately impact ethnically and culturally diverse groups, communities and individuals, such as loneliness, digital exclusion, or work and wages.

Sir Norman Lamb, Chair of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Co-Chair of the South London Listens Taskforce said:

It is vital that the disparity in access and care ethnically and culturally diverse groups, communities and individuals face in the mental health system is confronted. There must also be equity for our diverse workforce.

This is just the start and I know that everyone at South London and Maudsley is committed to achieving this ambition and ensuring everyone who uses our services receives the high-quality care they deserve.

Dr Jacqui Dyer, Joint Strategic Lead of the Patient and Carer Race Equality Framework (PCREF), Director of Black Thrive Global and Co-Chair of the taskforce that helped create the action plan said:

I welcome South London and Maudsley’s commitment to tackle the structural inequalities, discrimination, and racism that exists within their services. 

Co-creating this plan with partners, ethnically and culturally diverse members of the community, service users and staff means this plan can drive forward transformational change. Collectively this purposeful anti-racism approach is critical to build the trust and confidence, within communities, for the mental health services on offer to them. I look forward to continue to work with the Trust to make sure it makes a lasting impact.

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