There is no difference in the way ethnic minorities and their white counterparts access GP services in England or in the clinical outcomes of the care they receive, a study has found.

Research led by Professor James Nazroo from the University of Manchester showed that patients from ethnic minority backgrounds with diabetes, raised cholesterol or high blood pressure were no more likely to have their conditions undiagnosed than whites and just as likely to have them well-managed.

The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, contradicts previous thinking that ethnic minorities receive worse care in the NHS.

It suggests the poorer health experienced by ethnic minority groups in England is due to socio-economic conditions rather than poorer access to NHS services.

However, access to hospital services was worse of ethnic minorities, while the study found a “marked” difference in dental care access.

Prof Nazroo said: “While inequalities in the care received may exist for some conditions and other health care settings, particularly internationally, the implication of our research is that ethnic inequalities in healthcare are minimal within NHS primary care.

“In other words, publicly funded primary care with universal access has resulted in greater equality of access to and outcomes of care across the main ethnic groups.”