HL Deb 22 March 2000 vol 611 c30WA
Baroness Whitaker

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What research is being carried out to find out why a disproportionate number of black patients are in psychiatric custody. [HL1513]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath)

To support its review of the Mental Health Act 1983, the Department of Health has commissioned a programme of research into the use of the Act. A number of projects within the programme are designed to identify the extent of variation in the use of the Act. They include analysis of age, gender, race and a range of socio-economic factors which may account for such variation. We have not yet received final reports from all the projects in the programme but a summary of the main findings taken from preliminary reports has been compiled. The summary report will shortly be available on the DH website atwww.doh.gov.uk/mentalhealth.htm. The results from this programme of research will help to identify the possible reasons for variation in use of the Act, including over-representation of black people in the detained patient population.