BABCP response to NICE quality standards on the accessibility of health and wellbeing services for black and minority ethnic (BAME) users

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) have recently released a new quality standard for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) accessibility of health and wellbeing services.

The British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) welcomes the spotlight being shone on inequalities for black and minority ethnic populations in mental and physical healthcare provision.

However, we think the quality statement could go further in acknowledging the need for increased resources to develop services to adequately meet the needs of the BAME communities.

The guidance helpfully notes the importance of therapists being competent in culturally sensitive assessment, use of different models, addressing cultural difference in treatment plans and working with families from diverse (including non-English speaking) backgrounds.

In order to become competent in these areas and to be supported in using translators, translated materials, outreach opportunities and other culturally sensitive resources, then training, adequate supervision and funding is needed.

Whilst we welcome this attempt to set a standard for good practice in this area, without better funding and clearer prioritisation of targeted resources, training and supervision, services will continue to be “hard to access” for particular patient groups.