Published: 01/07/2004, Volume II3, No. 5912 Page 8

Joint chair of the national steering group for black and minority ethnic mental health Lord Adebowale has described the challenges faced in providing appropriate services for BME communities as like 'trying to walk across Lake Windermere'. Speaking at a seminar on how BME service users view current services, he said: 'This is one of the fundamental issues facing us. If we are judged on it at the moment then I would say it would be judged as a failure.'

Lord Adebowale said that changes in population make-up meant services would have to change accordingly. 'In just a few years this country will look very different and services will be judged by different people. There is a cultural timebomb ticking that we are not paying attention to.'