Synergi Pledge Makers Progress Report No: 2 Publication date: Tuesday 22nd November 2021

Welcome to the Synergi National Pledge Makers Progress Reports page, which features the third update submissions for the National Pledge to Reduce Ethnic Inequalities in Mental Health Systems.

The Pledge Makers’ third progress reports are being published on the eve of 42 Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) being established across England on a statutory basis on 1 July 2022, under the Health and Care Act 2022. Tackling ‘inequalities in outcomes, experience and access’ – is one of the ICS structure’s core goals

Potential impact of the new Integrated Care System

Collaboration between ICSs is also emphasised, to help ‘health and care organisations tackle complex challenges’, an objective which is at the heart of the Pledge and has been amplified in the Pledge Makers progress reports.

Signalling a fundamental shift in how the health and care system is organised, and one of the biggest legislative changes in a decade, there are, however, concerns. Coming in the wake of the NHS Race & Health Observatory’s rapid review into ethnic health inequalities, which spotlighted racism, health inequalities and poorer outcomes for racialised communities, the progress reports of Synergi Pledge Makers in Greater Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and North East London highlight the value of having Pledge commitments as an anchor.

Pledge commitments taking root

Emerging from a devastating pandemic, there are signs that some of the Pledge commitments are taking root. Among the many developments, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has developed a dedicated Clinical Services Inclusion Team. Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership has launched a culturally appropriate mental health fund that has so far funded 39 VCSE organisations.

At the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Human Resources, Learning and Development and Organisational Development teams are currently working through a programme of anti-racist resources facilitated by Amaechi Performance Systems solutions.

While the North East London Health and Care Partnership is exploring whether within the Integrated Care System structures there is scope to nominate a Synergi champion as each ICS will need to show a commitment to inequalities, including inequality in mental health for people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.

Next steps

All Pledge Makers have committed to submitting their fourth progress reports in November/December 2022 and to collaborate with each other for national change. Synergi Phase 1, through which the Pledge was created, has now ended.

Synergi Phase 2 has new stewards and a new host in NSUN, which is building on the learning from Phase 1, so the next challenge going forward is to establish its new home.

We hope you find something within the Pledge’s mission and our Pledge Makers progress that you can be inspired by, implement or campaign for in your own localities.

Best wishes,

Joy Francis – Co-Founder, Synergi Collaborative Centre | Pledge Lead

NB: Pledge Maker Thrive LDN’s progress report will be submitted by the end of June 2022.

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
Synergi-Leeds Partnership
North East London ICS (City & Hackney Place Based Partnership)
Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership
Thrive LDN