A number of health leaders have signed a pledge to stamp out racial inequalities in mental health care.

Mental health leaders have promised to "initiate fundamental service level changes to reduce ethnic inequalities in access, experience and outcomes" across trusts and community services.

Thirty leaders in the field have signed the pledge already, including mental health trust bosses and council leaders.

The pledge, organised by the Synergi Collaborative Centre, also makes a series of promises including to work with BAME communities to enhance care and supporting research and development in the area.

Kamaldeep Bhui, Synergi's director and professor of psychiatry at the University of Oxford, said: "I'm delighted to launch this powerful alliance between the NHS, local government, charity providers and BAME community groups in a national movement to transform mental health systems to be less institutionally racist, more enabling, thoughtful and inclusive; one that respects the workforce and acknowledges that all people need health care in the NHS."

One of the signatories, Dr Sara Munro, chief executive of the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, added: "Now, more than ever, we must tackle ethnic inequalities in healthcare."

By Ella Pickover, PA Health Correspondent