Assessment 1 – Equality, diversity and rights in health and social care
Define the terms:
Equality – The definition for equality is for an individual or group to be treated fairly and equally. For example, if someone within a group of people has additional needs such as a physical disability, then they should be still treated equally and fairly within reason. If the individual was treated any differently from the rest of the group, then the person may feel singled out.
Diversity – The definition for diversity is acknowledging that an individual is different in a number of ways. For example, if there were three friends in a group, all will be different in their own way such as their age, colour of skin, personalities, appearance and ability. All will be different within the group, but all individuals respect this.
Inclusion – The definition for inclusion is ensuring the individual is being included. For example, if there was a group of friends playing football and all of them were male except one individual who was female who wanted to participate, then it is important for the group to include the female in the game so the individual does not feel left out. Feeling included will make the individual have a sense of belonging which leaves a positive effect on her.
Human rights act 1998
According to ‘Equality and Human Rights Commission’ legislation which supports the Human Rights Act 1998, everyone is entitled to freedom of the individual’s thoughts, freedom from violence and a right to life; With this legislation, there are three main effects with the Human Rights Act which include being able to take it to a court of law if this has been breached, public services must respect your rights and new laws that are suitable with convention rights. With the Human Rights Act 1998, a person is protected against any violation of their human rights, for example if in any way an individual feels their human rights have been disregarded, then this can be taken to court.
A health and social practitioner contributes to inclusive practice by following the local codes of practice. For example, the practitioner has to build the trust of an individual and make sure everything is confidential. By building the trust of an individual, will make the person more confident in sharing confidential information. The practitioner will ensure that all individuals are given a fair opportunity according to ‘SlideShare Inclusive practice’ legislation which supports equality and diversity within the health and social care setting.
There are many types of discrimination, which include:
Direct discrimination which is when the discrimination is obvious to the individual they are being discriminated. For example, the person may have a disability and the person who is discriminating will make it known to the person by treating them differently or even verbalise their negative views on disabilities.
Indirect discrimination which is when practices and arrangements are put in place that seem to treat everyone in an identical way, but actually put some people at a disservice for example, if a female worked with males, then they may be treated slightly different as they may see the female as ‘incapable’, so may not involve the person.
Discrimination by association means when someone is treated differently because of who they associate with. For example, the person may be refused to be served at a shop because the individual may be friends with someone the shop keeper does not like.
Providing a code of practice in the work place and ensuring all practitioners are aware of the consequences of discriminating within the practice. This will hopefully prevent the discriminating from happening as they will be able to identify discrimination, the consequences if discrimination was to happen and also the importance of preventing it from happening.
Providing training to make everyone aware of ways to prevent and challenge discrimination should be mandatory in the workplace to make practitioners aware of direct and indirect discrimination. This will make the practitioner more aware of signs of discrimination as many people may not see the signs. Also this will make the practitioner aware of how to deal with witnessing discrimination either towards another person or being discriminated themselves. Having training will be able to allow the practitioner to take the correct steps on how to report it.
The concept of person centred practice means the individual seeks help by the practitioner, but has full control over the decisions that are made. For example, if an individual who struggles to walk by themselves seeks help from a practitioner, the practitioner and the individual will sit down and share ideas on what steps are available to take next giving the person a choice. This will then ensure that the individual will still have their independence, respects and right to their own decisions instead of the practitioner making the decisions on what steps were being taken next.
The health and social practitioners own values, beliefs and experiences can influence delivery of care as the practitioner could have shared the same experiences as the individual and they may feel they have a mutual connection because of this, but the practitioner is expected to treat everyone equally with the same level of care, so they are not able to let that influence the level of care. Also the practitioner may have different beliefs to the individual, but also because they have to be professional and show equal treatment to everyone they are not allowed to let this effect the level of care to the individual.
Person centred practice is used to support individuals by letting the individual make their own decisions ensuring they still feel they have their independence. According to ‘Helen Sanderson Associates’ who supports person centred practice, by working in this way, the individual will feel respected by the practitioner as their opinions are being heard on what support the person would like to receive.
Also according to ‘SCI (Social Care Institute), who also supports the person centred practice states that involving the individual’s family or friends with the care and support, will usually improve the support that the individual will receive, but also allowing the person to still make their own decisions.
The impacts of person centred practice can achieve on individuals are:
The individual is enabled to act on their rights – by allowing the individual to know what their rights are, this gives the person assurance that they are in control with the care and support they receive from the practitioner. Also with the individual knowing their rights, they will be able to spot discrimination if they are not receiving the right level of care and support from the practitioner.
The individual is enabled to make their own decisions – with the individual being able to make their own decisions, this will leave the person feeling in control and independent with also feeling respected by the practitioner. Being able to work together (between the individual and the practitioner), this will benefit both parties by being able to share ideas and coming up with a support plan together.
The individual retains their independence – for the individual being able to choose what support and care they receive, studies show that it has a positive impact on the individual’s recovery and way of life.
The individual is assured the best quality of life – having the person centred practice in place will guarantee the individual has the best quality of life by ensuring the persons needs are put at a priority with the care they are willing to agree to.
With the person centred practice in place, this will benefit the individual as well as the practitioner and will impact both in a positive way.
Ethical dilemmas that might arise when balancing individual’s rights and duty of care – For example, one ethical dilemma that may arise when balancing individual rights and duty of care is if an individual refuses the support and care that can cause the person serious illness, the practitioner will have to make a decision to take actions into their own hands if the person’s decision is putting them in danger. According to ‘Alzheimer Europe’ who support person centred practice, also state that’s when a practitioner faces an ethical dilemma, they have to be able to identify the possibilities of danger in the individual’s circumstances and act on what is right and wrong in a particular situation even if it goes against the person centred practice.Another ethical dilemma that might arise when balancing individual’s rights and duty of care is a person’s confidentiality. If a practitioner feels that the individual is at risk to themselves or others, then the practitioner may feel that they need to disclose this with another professional. For example, if an individual has disclosed to the practitioner that they are feeling low and they want to put their life in danger, then the practitioner will not be able to keep this to themselves and will have to involve other practitioners as the individual is putting themselves at risk.