Learning Aim A
Diversity is the variety of differences between individuals, for example; gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, values or disabilities. However, equality refers to everyone being treated fairly which doesn’t mean treated the same, it means everybody being able to access the services and treatments they individually require to meet their personal health needs. When diversity and equality are used in the same context it is about recognising and valuing individual and group differences.The significance of diversity and equality is to ensure everybody has equal opportunities and are treated professionally, respectfully and with fairness. The Equality Act (2010) legally protects clients from being treated unfairly this is because if they were to be treated unfairly and their diverse needs weren’t met, the client may not feel accepted by the professional therefore a trusting relationship may not form. Therefore the aim of diversity and equality is to make clients feel welcome, accepted and feel trust within the relationship with the professional to ensure the client is gaining the best treatment for their individual requirements.
For example; this relates with Patrick because he was concerned if he proved to be HIV positive he didn’t think he would be accepted as a member of the martial arts club. He was assured he would still be welcome which shows that he wouldn’t be treated unfairly and have different opportunities to the other members due to his differences.
For example; this relates with Brenda because she asked for a female professional rather than a male due to negative past experiences but the health professionals said that may not be able to happen every time however, the female manager said she will be present at all visits. This shows the professionals involved were able to communicate to come up with a plan where Brendas needs and differences were met in order for her to have equal health opportunities whilst feeling comfortable and as if her needs were accepted.
For example; this relates with Maria because she is able to take time off work and is treated fairly as she is able to keep her job and go back to it with reduced hours when she is ready because she needs to ensure her mother is settled with the new plans and Maria needs to catch up with taking care of herself.
Discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different types of people especially linked with the terms race, age, disability or sex. Anti-discrimination is the action taken to prevent discrimination against people on the grounds of race, gender, age, disability. Anti-discrimination promotes equality by introducing anti-discrimination policies in the workplace and social/ health services. Therefore discrimination is the negative act towards diverse people and anti-discrimination is the policies that prevent discrimination. If discrimination is prevented by anti-discrimination policies, this ensures diverse people are treated with equality and feel accepted by the service they are using. However, if discrimination is not prevented, vulnerable or diverse people can feel quite damaged and are not able to access the treatment or services required for their individual needs.
For example; this relates to Patrick because he may feel scared that he might be discriminated by homophobic people which means they show an extreme and irrational aversion to homosexuality and homosexual people like Patrick and James. Anti-discrimination policies protect homosexual people like Patrick from this in the workplace or the services they are using and allow them to feel part of the society and not like they are not ‘right’ or ‘normal’.
For example; this relates to Brenda because she may feel like she will be discriminated because of her disability (mental illness) which is when you are treated less well or put at a disadvantage for a reason that relates to your disability. Anti-discrimination policies protect Brenda from being discriminated for her disability as the health care professionals who are involved with her plan are ensuring she is completely informed and has control over what happens with her rather than thinking Brenda is ‘less’ able and making decisions for her.
For example; this relates to Maria because she may feel like she would be discriminated for taking time off work to take care of her mother but her boss and the trade union representative agreed that Maria will not be discriminated against when she returns and will have to have her old job back. Anti- discrimination policies will help Maria feel welcome and comfortable when she returns.
Types of discrimination are: age, disability, equal pay, genetic information, harassment, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, retaliation, sex, sexual harassment.
The type of discrimination Patrick may experience is sex discrimination. The type of discrimination Brenda may experience is disability discrimination. The type of discrimination Maria may experience is harassment discrimination.
Stereotyping is when judgement is made on a group of people who are different/diverse from the person/ group making the judgement based on theirs and others opinions or encounters. Stereotyping is usually a negative judgement about a set idea that the certain people have about others or what something is like. Whereas prejudice is a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience. Both prejudice and stereotypes are similar concepts related to beliefs and attitudes some groups of people have towards other groups of people and things. The difference is prejudice is not based on truth and experiences and usually originates from the lack of knowledge, whereas, a stereotype may be based or truth however a stereotype can sometimes originate from a prejudice.
For example; this relates to Patrick because he was worried that his landlord won’t accept them to live in their house anymore if he is HIV positive due to being stereotyped as having a bad health status and his landlord may want to steer clear of that as he thinks he might catch it however this stereotype that HIV positive people are something to stay away from could originate from a prejudiced opinion from perhaps a person with homophobic views.
It is important to prevent discrimination because treating individuals less favourably than others or bullying/harassing them because of their gender, age, race religion, sexual orientation,disability or employment status (which are unlawful grounds to discriminate) may lead to negative impacts on someone’s general well-being, self-esteem, self worth and social relationships. Discrimination may lead to mental health problems like increased stress, depression, and anxiety. This relates to Maria because she wasn’t discriminated by the head teacher of the school she works in as she will be able to take up her old job when she returns to work, the head teacher did not discriminate her which prevents maria from feeling negative impacts of her mental health.
It is crucial to prevent discrimination because we live in a multicultural society which means we have to treat different people equally and ensure we provide a service which doesn’t discriminate against any group or individual clients.
Some organisations may discriminate groups of people without intending to, for example having signs up that that are not appropriate for sight impaired people or printing patient information booklets that are only in one language or neglecting to recognise the needs of people with illnesses like dementia.
Organisations can communicate the diversity and discrimination policy regularly and clearly to their employees by having meetings about this policies, having posters around the buildings which show no discrimination etc… Organisations may also train and educate the staff to help them understand why discrimination is not acceptable and why having a diverse workforce is so important and how they can improve and show anti-discriminatory practice in their own work. Organisations could also put into place reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities so they can access health care places and even their own workplaces, this can be done by adapting the environment, facilitates, mobility and access. Organisations can also have a advocacy service which is provided by an advocate who is independent of social services and the NHS, who isn’t related to you. An advocates job includes arguing your case when you need them to and ensuring the correct procedures are followed by your health and social care services. This relates to Brenda as she is provided with a advocate to support her to express her own views. Brenda and her advocate spent time together to form trusting relationships and so the advocate could spend time listening to Brenda’s views and opinions.
A strength of promoting anti-discriminatory practice is that everyone in the service will feel equally important and feel as if they are included and not isolated. Anti-discriminatory practice allows every client to feel as though they have a say no matter what race or gender. Another strength of promoting anti-discriminatory practice is that it ensures that all individuals have equal opportunities despite their gender, race or if they have a disability, it allows everyone to feel like they have a chance and are able to do something without any limitations. Which also links with Maria because she is able to take up her old job again when she is ready to go back to work because she has equal opportunities and the head teacher of the school ensures her chances aren’t taken off of her due to a family crisis. Furthermore, a strength of promoting anti-discriminatory practice is that it makes sure that all service users are put first in any situation and have the care providers undivided attention when they are being cared for. This also links with Maria’s case because her mother has to be put first in all of her care support therefore for this to happen a volunteer interpreter will be present at all sessions.
The 6C’s (Care, Compassion,Competence, Communication, Courage and Commitment) are a set of values that ensure compassion in practice, it’s a vision and strategy for all health and care staff.