NHS managers must improve mental health services for black and minority ethnic groups, the Healthcare Commission has urged. It also called for 'renewed efforts' to provide more single sex wards.

The demands stem from the Count Me In census, published last week, which records numbers of inpatients in mental health and learning disability services and gathers ethnic data for these patients. It shows there has been no reduction in admission, detention and seclusion rates among black and minority ethnic groups.

This was a goal of the government's five-year action plan on delivering race equality in mental healthcare, published in 2005.

Mixed sex

And 68 per cent of patients (the same as in last year's census) are being cared for on mixed sex wards.

Care services minister Phil Hope told HSJ mental health services needed to do more to meet the needs of diverse communities, tackle inequalities and reduce mixed sex accommodation. "Count Me In will help us monitor progress," he said.