NHS Lanarkshire is leading the way in Scotland in promoting the equalities agenda – according to new Scottish Government figures.
Addressing ethnic inequalities in the health service requires accurate and complete information to help improve services.
The latest figures, for the period January to March 2009, show NHS Lanarkshire is making exceptional progress and has the highest recording rates in Scotland.
For inpatient and day case records, 80.9 per cent include a valid ethnic code, and 65 per cent for outpatient records.
Kenny Small, NHS Lanarkshire’s equalities lead director, said: “Only by recording accurate data on patients’ ethnicity can we monitor the impact of NHS services on different ethnic groups and better understand the different needs of ethnic groups.
“Accurate recording of this information is also essential to allow NHS Lanarkshire to make progress on tackling health inequalities, both long and short term and support the design and delivery of a service that is needs led.”
NHS Lanarkshire has made remarkable progress in improving the recording of people’s ethnicity.
For example, for inpatient and day cases recording has risen from only 6.8 per cent for the period April to June 2007 to the 80.9 per cent for January to August 2009.
In outpatients the figure has risen from 9.1 to 65 per cent over the same period.
Kenny said: “NHS Lanarkshire has worked hard to improve the recording of people’s ethnicity.
“Major factors in this improvement include the commitment from senior management to introduce ethnicity monitoring and the training of staff to ask patients about their ethnic group and increasing the understanding of how important collecting this data is.
“On behalf of NHS Lanarkshire I’d like to say a big thank you to all the staff involved in collecting this data which is helping us meet the needs of Lanarkshire’s community.”
For more information on these figures visit www.isdscotland.org/isd/5826.html