What is equality? Equality means to be equal to everyone else particularly within opportunities, rights or status. To ensure that all individuals are treated equally there are laws in place which also includes many originations to have policies for equality to reinforce the concept.
What is diversity? Diversity means to accept and respect differences between individuals around you and yourself. This suggests that everyone is to be recognised as being different, but it is valued and respected.
What are rights? Rights are legal entitlements to everybody, they should not be discriminated due to everyone’s differences. For example, a individual has the right to be within society without being discriminated due to their race, beliefs, sexuality, gender or disabilities.
Benefits of diversity
There are many benefits to diversity all around us in the health and social care sector but also in the general world. Britain is a multicultural society in which has a huge variety of individuals who come from many different backgrounds who live and work all around the country. The British population is 6.5% of ethnic minorities (britishcouncil.org) Which suggest of the many different backgrounds surrounding by us. In the health and social care sector there are many individuals who work for the sector and also service users who may come from diverse backgrounds, so this will show the different backgrounds and their beliefs.
With health and social care all individuals are respected and valued for who they are and what they bring with them to diverse countries. The benefits of diversity can affect our living lives and also within the health and social care sector. The benefits of diversity consist of; Arts – Many ways of art provides everyone a view of diversity from many aspects. This could be shown within films which could be made in other countries which demonstrate the cultures from around the world and the different perspectives of living from beliefs. It could also be show from museums or theatre performances which help give a greater understanding of cultures around the world and can also bring real life experiences. With the knowledge from the arts this could be beneficial to a individual working in health and social care so they can gain a better understanding of diversity. Diet – There are foods from all different cultures that make society multicultural.
This could be foods such as Mexican, Chinese, Indian and Thai which the majority of people all enjoy. Everyone has their own opinion and preferences of cultural food and this is very important within the health and social care profession as service users preferences on foods need to be considered when planning their diet. An individual diet also needs to be considered for health requirements such as diabetes as they may need to exclude from particular foods. An Individuals belief are also considered as their religion may suggest that they are unable to eat particular foods so this also needs to be considered within diet. When it comes down to diet, asking people their preferences on foods and what they can and cannot eat is a way of considering and respecting their diversity.
Education – Education plays a huge part for diversity as diverse cultures are being explored and valued within school curriculum. This includes a number of studies that come from different cultures and languages. The education system has also benefited those from different backgrounds making positive changes in relation to diversity. In the health and social care profession, the amount of training has been increased for equality, diversity and rights. The training programme places the great importance of it in different health care settings.
Language- In relation to education, languages are usually learnt through education but also can be learnt privately. Leaning new languages benefits health care professions hugely as it can give the professions a chance to work in other countries to help others who are in need. Some service users many not be able to speak English so if one of the workers has an experience of another language this could be very beneficial for the workplace but also the service user so that their needs are fulfilled. Health care professions need to ensure they are actively promoting equality and rights of individuals. This could be done by providing equal opportunities to all service users regarding the services which are delivered. These services could be; personal care, leisure activities and supported living. However, it is important to still recognise the differences within the individual too. There are seven principles that must be used to help actively promote equality, diversity and rights. The seven principles are:
- The promotion of anti-discriminatory practice
- The promotion and support of dignity, independence and safety.
- Respect for and the acknowledgement of personal beliefs and an individual’s indemnity
- Maintenance of confidentially
- Protection from abuse and harm
- The promotion of effective communications and relationships
- The provision of personalised care.
Examples of how this can be promoted is;
- Meeting the individuals need such as their medication or support
- Treating everyone with respect and equally
- Listen to them and give advice
- Try to meet their needs as much as they can but still have their safety to be considered.
- Ensure their dietary requirements are considered
- Respecting their cultural differences, such as celebrating festivals within their religion
- Respecting their personal beliefs
- Not to pass any information over to anyone about them and their health
- Give privacy
- Reporting any concerns about anyone
- Record any incidents or harm and to ensure accidents forms are completed
- Making sure the environment is safe for their needs
- Following any plans that are in place, ensure medications is given on time which needs to be recorded and witnessed.
In health and social care there are individual rights in place to be promoted, these rights are to;
- Be respected
- Be treated equally and not discriminate against
- Be treated as an individual
- Be treated in a dignified way
- Be allowed privacy
- Be protected from danger and harm
- Be allowed access to information about themselves
- Be able to communicate using their preferred method of communication and language
- Be cared in a way that meets their needs.
Examples of this can be shown by;
- Listening to what they want and their respecting it.
- Listening to what they want
- Not judging what they want
- Treating them as an individual as everyone has their own circumstance that needs to be promoted
- Not discriminating any factors such as their age, gender, beliefs or race
- Respecting their privacy so they are treating in a dignified way.
For example, if they are using the toilet to ensure the door is closed or any curtains are closed for their privacy.
- Not passing any information over to anyone and ensure that this information is secured correcting
- Making sure the health and safety policies are in place and are being followed.
- Making sure risk assessments are taking place
- Making sure all records are always kept up to date
- Have a system in place to access any information if needed
- Ensure any interpreters are available to help with different language communication or sign language so that the communication can be discussed successfully so it is understood both ways.
- Having a variety of staff who speak other languages
- Having resources available for things such as braille
- Making sure individuals needs are being met by speaking with them and understand what they need
- To ensure they are given choices, so service users can discuss and meet their requirements and preferences.