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CSCI caution over minority needs

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The cultural and social needs of people in ethnic minorities should be addressed on a more personal level, according to the Commission for Social Care Inspection.

CSCI has published the second of its three equality and diversity good practice bulletins, Providing Appropriate Services for Black and Minority Ethnic People, which aims to help care providers.

It concludes that individual needs should be met - rather than providers making assumptions about their cultural requirements.

Dame Denise Platt, CSCI chair, says: "People can only make choices if they are given the opportunity to direct their own care. Providers can help people by asking about their cultural requirements and work with them to achieve this."

CSCI conducted interviews and organised focus groups involving 63 black and minority ethnic people currently using services and one quarter said that they had experienced discrimination.

While most of those asked said they would recommend the service to others, and those supporting them were suitable, fewer than half felt their needs had been adequately considered during these assessments.

The bulletin argues that leadership in services is needed to change the ethos: only 37% of the 400 registered services surveyed said they were taking specific action on equality for black and minority ethnic people.

It also reports that older people in particular have low expectations of services or are reluctant to report concerns.

CSCI says this means providers are not getting the feedback that they need to improve.

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