Every individual incorporates at least one protected characteristic. Incapability to secure “protected characteristics” is considered illegal in law.
Health and Social Care
1.1. Define the following terms:
Every individual incorporates at least one protected characteristic. Incapability to secure “protected characteristics” is considered illegal in law. Nobody should show prejudiced conduct towards any individual due to:
- Sexual orientation
- Religion or faith
- Civil partnership/matrimony
- Gender reassignment
The above list cumulatively forms protected characteristics that are defined in the Equality Act 2010. Equality Act 2010 provides protection from any sort of discrimination enumerated above. Equality facilitates availing equal opportunities for everyone regardless of any kind of differentiation and instills the idea of respecting every individual’s choice and rights. The protection is offered against every type of discrimination such as direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimization.
It is the element of every individual’s distinct characteristics and talents. We all innately incorporate certain individual talents and distinguished features that determine our singularity and uniqueness. Diversity is how we observe these differences by appreciating the beliefs, values and lifestyles of everyone in our culture where, despite all the dissimilarities, we accept each individual as who they are with their specific distinctive nature.
In health and social care, celebrating diversity emphasizes on must practicing to assure meeting the diverse needs of the patients or service consumers especially those who are unable to access the facilities due to any ailment, disabilities or age.
Diversity can be observed by committing to provide equal access and open standards.
Inclusion is like reaching the home stretch after identifying and applying principles of diversity and equality. Inclusion is the state of being included in the community wholly. It necessitates valuing, respecting and including people from all walks of life, means it focuses on employing a respectful conduct towards diversity. It reinforces the idea that people from all ages, color, race and gender as well as those been living on the fringes of society, who suffered a disability or ailment and belonging to lower social and economical status should equally be privileged to share in the conveniences and resources of the society that is mostly taken for granted by those who, relatively, are highly facilitated. Consequently, it enables to hoist and foster the emotional well-being and promotes the sense of inclusion and confidence to live freely regardless of the differences.
It refers to the practice of biased and prejudiced conduct and treatment of people based on single or multiple protected characteristics of the Equality Act. A discriminatory conduct is deemed illegal/unlawful under the Equality Act 2010 and can be acted upon when encountered. Discrimination can be categorized into two types that are:
It is the observance of a biased treatment/decision against an individual due to their possessed protected characteristics and disapproval of their diverse nature.
When a policy ensues resulting in adversely impacting a group sharing protected characteristics comparative to others in the community that gain benefit from that policy. However, it is not directly established on providing unequal opportunity but the formation of policy automatically benefits a certain group and unfavorably impacts the other with protected characteristics of Equality Act 2010. For example, prohibiting certain practices in the workplace such as dress code, hairstyles or communication based on racial grounds.
1.2. Explain how rights are promoted in health and social care services
Human rights are accurately described as the individual rights of human beings that make them entitled and privileged to practice liberty and freedom from enslavement and oppression, the right to observe freedom of expression and opinion and entitlement to work and education. It reinforces the provision of social, cultural, political, economical and civil rights. They are applicable to all without any discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, age, race, religion, language or any other status.
Promotion of rights in health and social care:
Promotion of rights in the health and social care involves employing actions to equally and respectfully treat all such as your patients, their families, your colleagues, managers and everyone with different positions in the workplace.
Implementation of human rights in health and social care can be executed by:
- Just and humane treatment:
This must be implied to all your patients in health and social care by giving them equal opportunities to gain benefit from your services regardless of the discriminatory self characteristics. They should be handled with care and empathy and served with fair and unbiased behavior towards them.
- Treating with respect & maintaining dignity:
One must uphold and maintain a scale of respect and dignity for all in the workplace especially your patients irrespective of distinctive aspects of their nature. An approach to humiliate or look down upon others should never be employed. It must be ensured that everyone feels respected, worthy and valued despite all the differences and are never treated in an undignified manner.
- Appreciating the privacy:
Privacy of everyone at the workplace should be respected and violation of evading the personal space should be avoided to sustain a healthy work environment. All social care workers must be cognizant about the right to choice of the care takers and their needs must be recognized, respected and met.
- Allowing right to freedom:
Freedom of choice, expression and decision must be allotted to all regarding their lives and must be respected. No hindrances must be shown by the care providers against the decisions made by the people needing care, unless they seem to prove harmful or detrimental for their health and well-being.
- Liberation from discrimination:
Any course of action that fosters discriminatory conduct towards any individual at workplace should be strictly avoided. When it concerns people who require care, they must be given an unbiased and unprejudiced treatment and should not be differentiated or favored on any of their characteristics.
1.3. Discuss ethical dilemmas that may arise when balancing individual rights and duty of care
Ethical dilemmas emerge while trying to maintain provision of individual rights and duty of care. Regardless, they must be effectively handled while critically reflecting upon the given situation and must be dealt with compassion and empathy. Following are the commonly faced ethical dilemmas while balancing rights and duty of care:
While opting for morally right or wrong decisions for people under care, some norms shared and instilled by the society as a whole may crosses your mind that may influence the decision-making process concerning. However, this needs to be addressed without any inculcated standards of right and wrong and actually be critically and ethically pondered upon to base decisions according to morally correct conduct and without any biases and prejudices.
- Conflict between personal preferences and ethically accurate treatment
Health care providers face challenges on a daily basis while choosing between the personal choices of patients which depend on their background, exposure, education and awareness, and the provision of ethically accurate and suitable treatment according to the patient’s needs. It is of core significance that patients are adequately educated to pursue informed decisions regarding their treatment. However, in case of compromised competency of patients to bring about such decisions, health care providers must act in accordance with the best interests for the patients while keeping in mind the consequences.
- Patient’s confidentiality
The information regarding patient’s medical condition must be kept confidential. Legal consequences may ensue for revealing patient’s personal information. Certain laws have been drawn up by Health Insurance Portability and Accounting (HIPAA) that regulates uncovering of the private information of the patient. It informs about the specific information that can be shared with third parties and notifies what information needs to be kept private. As clear as they seem they offer a great deal of ambiguousness such as when to hold back information regarding patient’s condition that it would be unethical.
- Avoiding Relationships with patients:
It is crucial to maintain that it is against the regulations to pursue any relationship with patient while providing the treatment. In case of being reported to maintain a relationship especially a sexual relationship would result in termination of the license. If being sued, it ends up in snatching the power to practice in future.
2.1 Explain how to promote equality and support diversity
Equality and diversity can be promoted by realizing the significance of identifying and respecting the individual differences and how it contributes as whole for the development of a better workplace environment. Equality Act 2010 ties up the health and social care workers to abide by the rules and respect the protected characteristics of each individual. Most often, in health and social care, the most common protected characteristics found n individuals requiring care are age and disability. However, no reason justifies discriminatory conduct (intentional/unintentional) and must be stripped off and addressed efficiently. Equality in the workplace is supported by:
Equality Act 2010 consolidates better understanding of the primary intention of the past laws regarding anti-discrimination. It came into existence back in 2010 and allows clear and effective handling of acts related to discrimination based on the incorporated protected characteristics. Equality is highly promoted by its rules and guidelines that must be implemented and adhered to while making policies and procedures for the workplace. It leverages the recognition of the protected characteristics of each individual and respecting every distinct aspect of each and every person at the workplace by allowing them to avail equal opportunities regardless of any differences. It must be assured that employees are given awareness concerning Equality Act 2010. They are expected to use the power of speech in case of witnessing any worker employing derogatory conduct towards others in the work place. Equality Act 2010 is all about challenging any discriminatory, derogatory or disrespectful conduct while making sure that each and every individual feels the sense of respect and dignity.
- General Social Care Council (GSCC) Legislations and Codes of Practice
Certain rules and legislations are expected to be followed by the health and social care workers which focus on identifying and respecting the rights of each individual, ensuing practice aimed in the best interests of consumers and care providers, fulfilling the responsibility of being entrusted by public and following course of actions to provide quality work and instigate performance enhancement. The code of conduct emphasizes on prioritizing your patient’s concern, protecting the rights and providing high standards of care along with being accountable for for upholding the reputation of your profession. Failure to comply by the regulations and codes of practice of GSCC means that you are breaking the law.
Diversity and Equality is also promoted by providing:
- Just and equal treatment to all regardless of any differences
- Offering equal opportunities for all to avail
- Eliminating personal preferences or biases
2.2 Describe how to challenge those not working inclusive in a way that promotes change
Providing the ultimate level of care and upholding your workplace’s reputation is a must for every employer and this is encouraged by following the regulations that involve prioritizing your patient’s concerns regardless of any differences and providing equal opportunities to everyone by eliminating the discriminations. Moreover, stripping off the prejudiced and biased conduct and providing just and fair treatment to all. However, if there are people at workplace who are not willing to promote a good change and request you to stay silent or cover up for their wrongdoings, it is your moral duty to think above the distractions and stay loyal to your moral duty. You can challenge an individual that refuses to pay attention for promoting change by:
Voicing an opinion:
Health and social care incorporates employees from all backgrounds and presents a great deal of diversity of people that holds different perspectives and values. When a person is reluctant to promote a change you must voice your opinion and take a stand for the right course of action. It is a valuable skill to go beyond your personal preferences and use power of speech to prevent the evil and foster growth and development of your workplace as you are majorly accountable in maintaining the reputation of your institution.
When a colleague or work partner turn downs ways to encourage changes in the workplace that promotes well-being of both care providers and users, you can employ effective communication to make them aware about how they can be legally charged for refusing to adopt the workplace policies. You must tell them about certain cultural values if that puts a halt to their ability to change or address any factor by educating and encouraging them politely to transform their habits.
Informing higher authorities:
When the matter goes beyond your ability, you can challenge the workers who are not inclusive in promoting change by informing higher authorities of the workplace such as managers to take control over the situation. They do so by uncovering the potential consequences that, if not dealt with, would result in grave irreversible losses such as losing the job.
Taking a moral stand:
It is of core importance to take a moral stand against the wrongdoings and refuse to take part in any misconduct. For example, if an employ encourages you to stay silent about their misconduct, it is your moral duty to take a stand and speak against the unlawful and stay faithful to the duty of care.
2.3 Explain how to support others in promoting equality and rights
The implementation of equality, diversity and inclusion is vital for a workplace to function effectively. However, the core lies in executing schemes and policies that enable others in the workplace to do the same. Workers can be supported for promoting equality and rights in the workplace by:
Administering Schemes and Policies:
HR departments and diversity officers are responsible for implementing schemes and policies in the workplace that encourages as well as hold the employees accountable for complying with those policies. This must be pursued by getting a moral buy-in from all the workers to carry out successful administration of schemes and policies for providing support to uphold equality and maintain right and diversity.
Being an advocate:
You don’t have to be a militant campaigner in providing support for equality and diversity. A great influence is seen by just being an advocate to provide support to others for promoting equality, diversity and inclusion.
Being aware of any discriminatory conducts:
By educating yourself and being familiarized regarding different types of discrimination, you are able to take actions against it by voicing opinion or reporting to the management authorities. Be aware about even the slightest discriminatory conducts such as calling names, wide-spread generalizations or ill remarks. Keep in mind the scenario and the people involves and must act to save the rights of the people at your workplace.
Breaking the ice and volunteer:
Some competitions or events must be arranged to explore the variety of cultures in the work place that will instill the sense of being valued and respected regardless of the differences. Some people may show reluctance and are shy to take the first step but if you break the ice and volunteer for events like these, it will encourage them to come forward and share their unique ethnicity and values.
Including variations in recruitment:
Recruitments should be carried out not only of certain culture inclusion or particular kind of people but it must incorporate variety of individuals from all races and ethnicities to promote a diverse workplace environment. This is of the essence as it allows experiencing a broad range of cultures and values and adds to the global exposure for treating patients of all sorts and kinds.
Acquiring employee’s feedback:
It is imperative to obtain feedback from the workers and employees to get an insight about their problems and concerns regarding any discriminatory behavior by assuring that their identity would be kept anonymous. This will instill in them the feeling of confidence and trust that their needs are addressed and they are values and respected.
Protected characteristics. (n.d.). Retrieved September 29, 2020, from https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/equality-act/protected-characteristics
Petty, L. (2020, June 23). How To: Promoting Equality & Diversity in Health & Social Care. Retrieved September 29, 2020, from https://www.highspeedtraining.co.uk/hub/promoting-equality-diversity-health-social-care/
Your rights under the Equality Act 2010. (n.d.). Retrieved September 29, 2020, from https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/advice-and-guidance/your-rights-under-equality-act-2010
Raut, G. (2017, November 16). Inclusion: First Steps. Retrieved September 29, 2020, from https://rcni.com/hosted-content/rcn/first-steps/inclusion
Group, C. (n.d.). Indirect Discrimination: Croner Group. Retrieved September 29, 2020, from https://croner.co.uk/resources/equality-discrimination/discrimination/indirect/
Human Rights. (n.d.). Retrieved September 29, 2020, from https://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/human-rights/
Equality Act. (n.d.). Retrieved September 29, 2020, from https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/equality-act
GSCC questions call for specific social work code of practice. (2013, September 03). Retrieved September 29, 2020, from https://www.communitycare.co.uk/2009/05/06/gscc-questions-call-for-specific-social-work-code-of-practice/
Bradley, J. (2018, October 03). How to Help Others Promote Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Retrieved September 29, 2020, from https://www.highspeedtraining.co.uk/hub/support-promote-diversity-equality-inclusion/
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