Several studies have indicated that Afro-Caribbean people in the UK are at much higher risk of being admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of schizophrenia than white people born in the UK.4 The ethnic origins and housing situations of people in contact with mental health services are broadly similar in inner London and in Birmingham (see box 2).
Almost 20 per cent of people in contact with mental health services in Camberwell, south London, and west Birmingham were living in temporary or supported housing or were homeless. Significant differences were noted between inner and outer London. For example, 95 per cent of patients in Croydon were in mainstream housing and most likely to live with family or a partner. Birmingham, therefore, seems to be very similar to inner London.