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Equality, Diversity and Rights within Health and Social Care Essay

Sex discrimination act 1975

This act applies for both men and women. It promotes that both men and women should be treated equally. For example, in transport, education, jobs etc. It promotes anti-discriminatory practice by making sure those men and women are treated equally, if this act applies didn’t exist, men and women may be deprived of certain choices. This act includes any discrimination against homosexual marriages or civil partnerships, any discrimination against pregnant women and maternity leave, also about equal pay for both men and women.

Disability discrimination act 2005

This act applies to anyone that has some sort of disability. This act is in place to protect disabled people against discrimination both in employment and when using a service or facility. For example, anyone with a disability should have the same opportunities in work or learning places such as school, colleges or universities. In other places such as shops and banks, and to also make sure that they are treated fairly when they go somewhere to eat or drink, such as restaurants or pubs. Public transport services have to make sure trains; buses, etc. are accessible and have the right facilities for anyone with a disability. “The government has implemented the legislation in three phases.

Phase 1 in 1996 made it illegal to treat disabled people less favourably because of their disability. Phase 2 in 1999 obliged businesses to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for disabled staff, like providing support or equipment. They also have to start making changes to the way they provide their services to customers, for example providing bank statements in large print. Phase 3 from October 2004, businesses may have to make physical alterations to their premises to overcome access barriers. The example people most readily think of is installing ramps for wheelchair users.

For this task, I am assess the influence of one recent national policy initiative promoting anti-discriminatory practice on a particular setting.

There are various policies promoting discriminatory practice but I am going to explain the mental health act and the mental capacity act 2005. The mental health act 1983, amended again in 2007, with the mental capacity act is a basic guide for people in the care industry to follow to protect the rights of people with some sort of a mental disability and with the main objective is for them to have the best effective care and treatment. The mental health act 1983 is a substantial framework for anyone who is working within care and working with people with a mental health condition. This initiative provides a logical format which stabilities both the law and legal principles in order for mental health workers to come to a settled judgement about someone’s health. This act was amended again in 2007 because there was various reports in which abuse and neglect was suspected and then found out in some mental health institutions, which are branded with discrimination.

The only reason that this act was amended was to protect the service users from abuse and discrimination by providing a straight-forward guideline in which all health care professionals must follow to protect the patients from discrimination. The importance of this act is to ensure that people are receiving an effective service with boundaries and laws to protect the individual’s vulnerability and maximising their safety and well-being and most importantly protecting them from any harm. Since the act was amended there has been a significant reduction in the amount of cases that have been reported of abuse and any death.

Patients have been treated with more respect and dignity and these patients have now the opportunity not to be discriminated as the act now instructs how and what measures would be taken to protect a service user. However despite this piece of legislation the major issue of perception and preconception against mentally ill patients still exists. This act however does not cover any discrimination within the community but still covers it when admitted into hospital. This also connects to the equality act 2010 as it makes it illegal to discriminate directly or indirectly against someone with a mental health condition within public services and functions, access to any premises, work, education, associations, and finally transport.

For this task, I am going to evaluate the success of the recent initiative in promoting anti-discriminatory practice.

I am going to evaluate the mental health act 1983 and how the act’s initiatives promotes anti-discriminatory practice and I am also going to compare the amended version in 2007 and how this has promoted anti-discriminatory practice and how it has improved people’s lives. The mental health act was created in 1983 to make society as fair as possible but it also has had some negative areas. The act says about the ‘removal’ of people with mental disorders. This could be seen as discrimination e.g. marginalisation because you would be making someone feel isolated from society and feel as if they could not be part of that certain part of the community. This act is purely to help and protect those with mental health issues and safeguard those around them. This act was updated from 2001 and finalised in 2007 because the language used in the act was changed. Also issues, treatments on different conditions and ‘treatment tests’ and ‘condition tests’ were altered additionally.

The language was changed in the act because it therefore more politically more correct as no one likes the idea of being ‘removed’ from society. The aim of the act in 2007 is to give people more choice in life, to receive fair and equal opportunities so that they can lead a healthy lifestyle and have a good life with a career etc. Article 4 of the act intrigues to me because of the language used to change the fact that it could come across as discrimination.

Impairment in other words means ‘abnormality’ which could come across as belligerent to those who suffer with psychological disorders, this then would present them as ‘lesser’ and therefore more likely to prejudice comments. However the word ‘impairment’ implies that someone isn’t able to lead a normal life and in some cases that is untrue. Recently the government has canvassed through radio and posters to convince the public that there is nothing wrong with having any psychological disorders, and these people shouldn’t be marginalised. Some people use the word ‘mental disorder’ when describing someone with a mental health problem because it again leads these people to

be marginalised and have prejudice thoughts about them all the time. Additionally, these certain people do have amazing talents, have successful lives and have a normal life because their society has been taught different. The main changes in 2007 was the language and format of the ac and how procedures and treatment are carried out. An example of this would be that the words ‘psychiatric disorder’, ‘mental illness’ = and ‘mental impairment’ were exchanged with ‘mental illness’. This was done because then it doesn’t categorise each person into a different group and it being changed to ‘mental illness’ it applies to all disabilities and disorders of the mind. They have also created new roles of nurses, psychologists and other health professionals to become an approved mental health professional (AMHP).

This is when people are specifically trained in many different ways to promote anti-discriminatory practice. The amendments made in 2007 were originally supposed to change the entire 1983 act but members of parliament voted against this because the new amendments freed the treatability test to allow clinicians to access individuals appropriately and professionally before creating the correct treatment and care. Even though the act has been prosperous in some ways there have been certain issues and provocative issues on why the entire act wasn’t improved or why it needed to be improved. Not only was that but in 1983, the government unsuccessful to reach their targets regarding treatment, equality in society and diversity. It also miscarried to reduce the amount of individuals suffering with mental disorders.


For this task, I will describe at least five ways in which anti-discriminatory practice is promoted in health and social care settings. In a health and social care setting, for example, the nursing home I work in (for confidential reasons I cannot reveal the name of it), there are various ways in which anti-discriminatory practice is promoted.

The five ways are:

There is a variety of menus and food available for anyone;
There is wheelchair access all-round the home;
There is diverse staff;
We do not discriminate;
We always promote an individual’s rights.

The chef and kitchen staff always have the thought of the religious beliefs and health of the residents when preparing breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack for them. For example, in the nursing home I work in, the majority of residents are of Jewish belief, but there are also Catholics. So if there was roast pork on the menu for lunch, the Jewish residents could have the choice to pick and choose what they would want for lunch. With this menu they could have roast chicken or beef, or even something completely different like a sandwich or an omelette. The kitchen staff think about a resident’s health condition as well because e.g. there is a man in my nursing home that cannot chew proper food and is also diabetic. For his lunch (if it was roast pork again), they could have a minced dinner with everything else (e.g. vegetables/potatoes). Then for his dessert, he could choose between the diabetic pudding, which is a baked apple, diabetic ice cream, or a yogurt. I believe this promotes anti-discriminatory practice because they always think about the residents before preparing anything for them which includes their diet.

There is wheelchair access throughout the whole home. The doors have been especially wide to fit wide wheelchairs, there are stair lifts for anyone who cannot walk down them or need the help of the wheelchair to get them down. There is always the option of going down in our lift which goes to each floor of the home. There is also ramps coming into and out of the home so it doesn’t stop anyone from not coming in. I believe this promotes anti-discriminatory practice because we don’t stop anyone from not coming in for going from a to b. There is a variety of staff working within the nursing home I work in. The majority of the staff would be eastern European girls, but there is also a lot of African/West Indian/Caribbean staff within my work. Additionally there are a lot of Asian men and women working in the home and surprisingly there are 3 people who are fully British that work in our home, whether be in power in the home, in the caring side and the kitchen side.

I believe this promotes anti-discriminatory practice because our home doesn’t reject someone from being part of our little family because we believe we can’t stop someone from being part of our family (within reason). In my nursing home, we always ensure that we treat people in a respective way. Some behaviour from a carer or a nurse could be misunderstood and seen as if they are patronising the resident because of a condition they may have. Always as a carer/nurse one of my roles would be to make any judgement on what may or may not be happening. I have to always listen to the patient or service user if there is any sort of problem and see how a problem that could be happening could be resolved, then I would have to take appropriate action and monitor the situation carefully.

I believe this promotes anti-discriminatory practice because we do not want to be dis-respectful to anyone who is using our service. Promoting an individual’s rights can be met in many different ways such as if a person has any learning or speaking difficulties, it would be my responsibility or someone in powers responsibility to get help for the service user and this could mean getting an advocate to help the resident portray what they wanted to say. All service users should be made to feel as if they are just as important as everyone else in the home and be treated with the same amount of respect. I believe this promotes anti-discriminatory practice because we do not stop anyone from being what they want or getting what they want just because they have a learning/speaking difficulties or even walking difficulties.

M3 and D2

For this task, I will discuss at least three difficulties that may arise when implementing anti-discriminatory practice in health and social care settings and also to justify how to overcome these difficulties. I will be putting M3 and D2 together as they are similar in task targets.

The three difficulties I will be talking about will be locality, discrimination, and socialisation.

Locality could be a difficulty when implementing anti-discriminatory practice because for example in a GP’s surgery, and if the majority of the doctors were white, this would pose a problem as if there was a black patient they could feel uninvolved and that they are not equal as the surgery is not promoting that all races are equal by not employing doctors from other ethnic backgrounds. This difficulty could be easily overcome by employing other GP’s from other ethnic backgrounds so that all the races feel included and equal.

To also overcome this, is to give more staff training to the staff, to make sure that they would know how to deal with other people from other ethnic backgrounds. This therefore makes patients feel as if they are not being discriminated against. Staff training is also more effective that presenting posters that say that all patients all equal because although is shows that for example both sexes are equal, the surgery isn’t actually applying that into their work. Furthermore, staff training will propose a chance to discuss possible inequalities whereas posters would offer that option and opinion.

Another difficulty that could come up when implementing anti-discriminatory practice is a health status of someone. For example, this could be a difficulty in a hospital because if a patient is in pain and shouting racial abuse at another patient, this could either be the reason of their pain and that they are angry and have to take their anger out on a complete stranger. This could pose as a problem as the other patient who is being discriminated against and furthermore being denied of their rights because of their race.

This could be overcome again by staff training, this would be teaching nurses and doctors how to neutralize a situation of anger and how they could calm down a patient easily, so they would stop being racially abusive to the other patient and this therefore would stop the patient from being discriminated against as the abuse would have been stopped. Again posters would not be effective enough to stop any racial abuse as the patients would not pay enough attention to them. So therefore staff would then have to obstruct the situation and this then would be operative and be more probable to stop the judgement.

Socialisation is another difficulty in implementing anti-discriminatory practice especially in health and social care setting. For example, in a doctor’s surgery if a young adult was brought up to think that men and women were not equal in their society; they would think this is normal whereas the society they live in is completely different. For instance, in a doctor’s surgery, if a woman was brought up to think that women are not equal to men and men are better. Then if she came into her GP surgery and got the last appointment of the day, and there was a man after her wanting an appointment, she would then swap her appointment for another day even if she has a serious condition, just because she thought the man deserved it better than her. This therefor would mean that the women would have to suspend her appointment to another day, therefore her illness would deteriorate and could become even more ill than she needed to be just because she gave her appointment away to the man just because he apparently has the right to have it because of his gender.

Then when she does go to the doctor, the doctor would say to her she should have come to them earlier when her illness was in the earlier stages as it would be easier to be dealt with. To overcome this difficulty, the doctor’s surgery should employ more staff so that there are other appointments available. Again the staff should be trained more to advise the patients that their men and women are equal and have the same rights as everyone. This patient needs to know that she has the same opportunities as men and this problem doesn’t need to prevent her from getting her appointment again or another situation in which she thinks that men are better than her and have all the advantages over her. For this case, to overcome this, the staff would just have to positively promote her rights and staff training would be more advantageous as they can address her problem specifically whereas any posters or leaflets wouldn’t be paid attention to as much as someone saying it to her.

For example, in a residential nursing home, if a female care worker (and she was brought up to think that men were more important than women) was working on a floor which had 10 rooms all of which are occupied by residents. 7 of these residents are women like the care worker herself and the other 3 were male. It was then noticed that this care worker was putting the males priorities ahead of the women’s, this is the wrong thing to do especially in a care home, just because she was brought up to think that men come always before women. This care worker is then not promoting anit-discriminatory practice, in fact she is discriminating against the women who live in the home.

If this was to happen and action would need to be taken immediately because she is supposed to treat everyone equally and not as if one person is better than another. This is a problem when implementing anti-discriminatory practice because she is discriminating, however there is ways in which this problem could be overcome. There are two simple ways in which gender discrimination can be overcome in this sort of circumstance: 1. You first could give a verbal or written warning to the female care worker because they have done something against the rules of their job and of which they cannot break.

This is a good way in which discriminatory practice can be overcome because this gives the fear to that care worker that if they do it again they could lose their job due to putting the males priorities in front of the women’s. 2. Second of all, you could give that care worker a training session on ant-discriminatory practice and how to stop discriminatory practice. This would be an effective way to overcome discriminatory practice because it teaches the individual how to behave in their job and to treat everyone as equals and not to favourite some people over others.

Health & Social Care – Book 1 – Level 3 BTEC National
Series editors: Beryl Stretch and Mary Whitehouse
Health & Social Care (Adults)- 3rd edition – Level 3 Diploma By Yvonne Nolan

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