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HSC CM1: Equality, Diversity and Rights in Health and Social Care

1.1. Define the terms:

Equality: This entails that everyone is treated fairly and justly with their needs, and preferences put into consideration. Equality ensures that no one is treated better than the other and everyone has their needs catered to.

Equality means treating everyone in accordance with their needs, such as disability, religion, belief, sexual orientation, and so on.

Discrimination will not be tolerated where equality is promoted; everyone has the right to the same access and opportunities as everyone else.

Diversity means that the distinctiveness of all individuals is appreciated and accepted, and service providers are expected to behave respectfully with service users regardless of their age, language choice, gender preference, culture, or religious beliefs, among other factors.

In health and social care, diversity should be valued.

Inclusion refers to when individuals are granted equal access and participation to a community or a team regardless of their different characteristics. Accepting an individual on board gives them a sense of belonging and satisfaction when they are given support and made to have a sense of belonging.

All health and social care practitioners are expected to act in such a way that service users are at the centre of their own care and decision-making and made to feel included.

Discrimination means giving individuals undeserved treatment because of where they belong or who they are; this may occur as a result of the individual being discriminated against based on their specific character, how they look, how they are labelled, and so on.

If one service user is given preference over another because of their skin colour, discrimination has occurred.

1.2. Explain how rights are promoted in health and social care services.

Care professionals can deliver premium, safe, and well-organized care and support by promoting individuals’ rights in health and social care. Ways their right can be promoted are:

Right to effective communication: The service user has the right to be informed, and communication is the primary link between the service user and the provider in providing excellent service. The service provider must ensure that the service user understands what the caregiver is explaining and that the best means of relaying the message to the service user are used. The use of Makaton, AAC, Sign language, braille, sign and symbols can be used appropriately. For instance, a caution sign indicates potential danger.

Right to independence: Care users have the same right as everyone else; however, they face numerous challenges when exercising this right because we believe they should not do certain things due to their medical condition. They are mostly excluded from social activities because it is assumed they are not fit to do so and prefer to do their own thing. They should participate in activities as much as they want as long as it does not harm them in the long run. Being autonomous gives them a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment. Being independent may differ from person to person; for some, it may simply be freedom of choice, while for others, it may be the desire to do things without assistance

Right to support and care: Every individual, regardless of who they are or where they belong, has the right to health and social care. Service users must be encouraged to live their lives in accordance with their own culture or preferences, such as an Indian service user who prefers to eat with her hands rather than a spoon.

Right to be protected from abuse and harm: All individuals in health and social care settings deserve to be protected from harm and dangers. They also have the right to be protected from any form of physical or emotional abuse. It is expected of caregivers and other health and social care personnel to swiftly identify potential dangers and report them immediately.

1.3. Discuss ethical dilemmas that may arise when balancing individual rights and duty of care

Dilemma may arise while providing care and allowing an individual to exercise their right; most of the time, they are unaware that their actions may cause harm to themselves or others. This might lead to conflict if care is not taken.

The service provider may want to consider whether the service user has a better choice; if not, the caregiver will want the service user to be able to participate in the task independently. More importantly, service providers must consult with service users to determine what is best for them, measure the risk of independence, assess it, and ensure that the risk is mitigated to ensure a soft landing.

Ethical dilemmas may arise when balancing individual rights and duty of care. For example, a healthcare provider may have a duty to provide care to a patient, but the patient may have a right to refuse treatment. If the patient refuses treatment, the healthcare provider may be required to provide care anyway. Another example is if a patient is a minor, the healthcare provider may have a duty to provide care to the patient, but the patient’s parent or guardian may have a right to refuse treatment.

2.1. Explain how to promote equality and support diversity.

Open and cordial communication between caregivers and recipients can help encourage mutual respect and appreciation. Every effort should be made to ensure that both parties feel safe sharing their needs, wants, and concerns. In addition, it’s crucial to recognise and respect the many cultural differences that exist. Resources that help the caregiver and the recipient learn about and cope with differences are invaluable. The existence of a diverse population makes the world a better and more interesting place, and if we seek to maintain this diversity, we can make the world a better and more tolerant place for everyone.

By promoting equality and diversity, you are also promoting cultural competence. In order to promote equality and diversity in a care facility, it is important to ensure that everyone is treated equally and respectfully. This includes staff, residents, and visitors.

It is important to have a clear anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policy in place, and to make sure that all staff are trained in this policy. All residents should be made aware of this policy and be able to report any incidents of discrimination or harassment.

There should be a focus on promoting inclusivity in all aspects of a care facility, from activities and events to the way that staff interact with residents. All residents should feel like they belong and are valued members of the community.

It is also important to celebrate diversity, and to make sure that everyone feels represented. This can be done through things like displaying artwork from different cultures, offering a variety of food options, and having staff who reflect the diversity of the community.

2.2. Describe how to challenge those not working inclusively in a way that promotes change

Discrimination is unacceptable, and anyone who engages in it should be challenged immediately. However, it is advised that this should be done without being confrontational or aggressive.

If the person was unaware that their actions were discriminatory, they should be informed and advised not to repeat them. On the other hand, if it was done on purpose, the observation should be discussed with the manager, and the person should be confronted again, with positive changes expected.

When possible, such offenders should be provided training resources that emphasise the importance of equality, diversity, and inclusiveness in the health and social care system.

One can also be discriminatory without noticing it, which is why it is critical to review one’s work and figure out how to continue improving care and support delivery. I usually take a step back to critically examine my conduct at work to see if I’ve discriminated against anyone; I’ll think about it further to see if I could have done something better than what I did or how I handled the situation. I can also discuss it with the manager to get advice on where I might be lacking.

Ensuring that discrimination does not occur in the workplace is one method to promote progress in the delivery of care and support at work. It is encouraged to be brave and address the act as soon as possible, as well as take care of the ones committed unintentionally by oneself.

2.3. Explain how to support others in promoting equality and rights

Equality and rights are more vital than ever in the workplace, yet it can be difficult to know how to implement them. If you wish to promote such a course at the workplace, you don’t have to be aggressive; instead, be an active supporter and a voice against prejudice in order to achieve equality and rights.

When it comes to campaigning for change and improved rights in health and care settings, it is essential to work with others in order to be effective. This includes building relationships with key decision-makers, mobilising communities, and using the media to share your message. It is important to remember that change doesn’t happen overnight, and it often takes a lot of hard work and dedication to make progress. However, by working together, it is possible to make a difference and improve the lives of those who rely on health and care services.

Supporting people to access information, advice, and support around equality and rights issues. Some of the ways that we might do this include:

  • Providing educational resources on topics related to equality and rights
  • Connecting people with organisations that can provide advice and support
  • Advocating for changes to laws and policies that will improve equality and rights
  • Working with partners to deliver equality and rights-based training and awareness-raising programmes

Equality and diversity are important issues in health and care. Expatiating on these topics can help to ensure that everyone understands and respects the rights of others. This can help to create a more inclusive and tolerant environment in which everyone can feel comfortable and safe.

3.1. Summarise legislation and codes of practice relating to equality, diversity, inclusion and discrimination.

The Health and Care Act 2012

The Health And Social Care Act 2012 includes a number of provisions relating to equality and diversity. In particular, the act requires that health and social care providers take steps to ensure that people with protected characteristics are not discriminated against and that they promote equality of opportunity. Furthermore, the act establishes a new equality and human rights commission, which has a role in promoting and enforcing equality and diversity in the health and social care sector.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 is an important agreement that sets out the basic human rights that every child is entitled to. The Convention recognises that every child is entitled to equality and diversity and that every child has a right to live without discrimination. The Convention also recognises the need for special measures to be taken in order to ensure that all children have the opportunity to enjoy their rights, regardless of their background or circumstances.

The Data Protection Act

The Data Protection Act 1998 sets out rules for how personal data must be collected, handled and stored in order to protect people’s privacy. It also gives individuals the right to know what personal data is held about them and how it is used.

Organisations subject to the Data Protection Act must comply with the Act’s requirements in relation to equal treatment and diversity. This means, for example, that they must ensure that personal data is collected and used in a way that does not discriminate against people on the basis of any of the protected characteristics.

The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the basis of a range of protected characteristics, including age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

European Convention on Human Rights 1950

The European Convention on Human Rights 1950 (ECHR) is an international treaty that protects the human rights of individuals in Europe. The ECHR guarantees the right to life, liberty, and security of persons; freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment; the right to a fair trial; and freedom of expression, among other rights.

The ECHR also prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, or national origin. The treaty, therefore, protects individuals from discrimination in the enjoyment of their rights under the Convention. The ECHR is overseen by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), which is based in Strasbourg, France. The ECtHR receives applications from individuals who believe that their rights under the ECHR have been violated.

Code of Conduct for Health care Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers

The code of ethics for social care workers exists to promote and protect the interests of service users and carers. This includes ensuring that communication is appropriate and effective and that workers operate within the agreed limits of their knowledge and skills.
• Health care support workers (HCSWs) and adult social care workers (ASCWs) must behave in a professional and caring manner towards patients, service users and carers.

• HCSWs and ASCWs must treat patients, service users and carers with dignity and respect.

• HCSWs and ASCWs must work collaboratively with other health care and social care professionals to deliver care that meets the needs of patients, service users and carers.

• HCSWs and ASCWs must comply with their employer’s policies and procedures, and applicable legislation and regulations.

• HCSWs and ASCWs must maintain confidentiality in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and other applicable legislation.

• HCSWs and ASCWs must report any concerns about the safety or welfare of patients, service users or carers to their employer or the relevant authorities.

• HCSWs and ASCWs must not abuse their position of trust or power and must not engage in any form of unlawful discrimination.

• HCSWs and ASCWs must take reasonable care of their own health and safety, and that of other people who may be affected by their actions.

Code of conduct Mental Capacity Code of Practise

Mental capacity refers to an individual’s ability to make decisions for themselves. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 sets out when and how people who lack mental capacity can have decisions made on their behalf. The Code of Practice for Mental Capacity in England (the Code) provides detailed guidance on the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It explains what the Act means, how it applies in practice and sets out good practice for those working with and caring for people who lack mental capacity

4.1. Evaluate the role of the health and social care practitioner in meeting individuals’ needs through inclusive practice

Inclusive practice means promoting and supporting the input of every individual irrespective of their differences. Everyone participating has the opportunity to explore without the fear of discrimination. It is the responsibility of all health and social care workers to ensure that individuals are supported to live the lives they want to and are in control. This includes following legislations and codes of practice that promote inclusive practices. Care workers must always act in the best interests of the individual they are caring for.

Effective communication is critical in inclusive practice; delivering a message to a service user during treatment or care in a way that best suits their current situation provides them a good sense of belonging. For example, if a service user is hard of hearing and in a very weak state at the time care is being administered, the service provider can get closer to them to ensure there is no barrier between them, talk slowly, and if all of that fails, the service provider can use written means to convey the message. By doing so, the service user will not feel awful about the issue; rather, they will be happy with how the matter was handled.

All service providers owe a responsibility of confidentiality to service users; no personal information about them should be disclosed unless it is shared with those who need to know. On the other hand, if they consent, it can be shared. Confidentiality can also be violated if the information given can cause harm to the service user, in which case the information can be released to the appropriate authorities to determine what steps to take. Service providers must not share information with other members of staff based on side conversations or gossip.

Service providers must respect the culture and beliefs of their service users, they must not be discriminated against based on where they come from, their accent, what they believe in or what they stand for. Irrespective of all those, the service provider owes them a duty of care.

In the course of inclusive practice, service providers face numerous challenges. The ability of service users to make decisions may lead to them making decisions that harm their health or endanger themselves or others. When one is overly cautious, it can lead to being careless; when delivering inclusive care, some errors may occur, which should be accepted in good faith and should be corrected immediately. Service delivery methods must be consistent with the operationally agreed-upon ways of working and with the code of practice.

References

  • Skelt, Alan, and Beryl Stretch. Health and Social Care. Hodder Education, 2000.
  • Nolan, Yvonne, et al. NVQ/SVQ Level 3 Health and Social Care Candidate Book, Revised Edition. Heinemann, 2008.
  • Bartle, Caroline. “Level 3 Health and Social Care.” Training Resource Pack, Heinemann Educational Publishers, 2011.
  • McPherson, Blair. “Equality and Diversity as a Way of Delivering the Wider Health and Social Care Agenda.” Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, vol. 1, no. 2, Emerald, Dec. 2008, pp. 4–7. Crossref, https://doi.org/10.1108/17570980200800014.
  • Hudson, Nicky. “Equality and Human Rights Commission – Is Britain Fairer?” Diversity & Equality in Health and Care, vol. 13, no. 1, Scitechnol Biosoft Pvt. Ltd., 2016. Crossref, https://doi.org/10.21767/2049-5471.100045.
  • Braye, Suzy, and Michael Preston-Shoot. “The Care Act 2014.” Wellbeing in Practice, 2019.
  • Express, Training, and 0Aabcx. “Diversity in Health and Social Care: Learn How to Promote.” Training Express, 29 Jan. 2021, www.trainingexpress.org.uk/diversity-in-health-social-care.

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