Editorials

Ethnic monitoring and equity

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6984.890 (Published 08 April 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:890
  1. Paramjit S Gill,
  2. Mark Johnson
  1. Research tutor Centre for Research in Primary Care, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9LN
  2. Senior research fellow Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL

    Collecting data is just the beginning

    From this month collecting data on ethnic group from all patients admitted to NHS hospitals will be routine.1 This ethnic monitoring is intended to enable the NHS to provide services without racial or ethnic discrimination. Currently, the use the delivery of services vary on these grounds, with or without intent,2 which hinders the achievement of equity in the NHS.3

    Several recent papers in the BMJ have shown that levels of need or use of services may differ between ethnic groups.4 5 6 Two papers in this week's journal also show the potential of properly conducted ethnic monitoring. One paper, identifying ethnic group on the basis of name, shows excessive referrals of Asian patients for gastroenterological investigation with no apparent clinical justification (p 910).7 This finding was replicated in a different region when a different method of categorisation was used (p 909).8 More detailed information could begin to cast light on the reasons for …

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