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Explain the concepts of equality, diversity and individual rights in relation to health and social care
It is important to consider and understand why equality, diversity and individual rights are important in a health and social care setting. By recognising that integrating equality, diversity and individual rights into governance or policy will help to: achieve better outcomes for people, improve performance, demonstrate accessibility and accountability, and ensure compliance with the law.
In this report I will be defining equality, diversity and individual rights, giving examples of how service providers may demonstrate these values in a health and social care setting, and briefly explain the benefits of demonstrating these values on a service user.
Equality is about ensuring that every individual has an equal opportunity to reach their full potential in their life time and should not have poorer life chances because of the way they were born, where they come from, what they believe, or if they have a disability also is able to fulfil every desire they have.
However, equality is not always about treating everyone the same, it is about treating people in such a way that their needs are met and that the outcome can be the same as everyone else ( is equality). Any health and social care provider should demonstrate equality through their mission statements, core values and strategic action plans. Service providers should always thrive to ensure that the individual needs of a service user are met and ensure they have equal access to each service provided.
This is particularly important for individuals who are in need because of a disability, illness or age, unable to take adequate care of themselves and keep themselves from harm. For example, a case of a resident, a devoted catholic who is suffering from dementia. It may be appropriate to enable the resident to take communion in the local church. This could help the resident by engaging with other similar minded people and reaffirm her faith as she moves towards the end of her life as such a policy would enhance her last days and not make her feel as if she is bed ridden and cant complete simple tasks like other “normal” people (strivercare.co.uk). The benefits of demonstrating equality on a service uses creates more positive working relationships, increased performance and reducing the risk of possible legal action. A team with positive working relationships will be more productive, engaged and focused as it will make a nicer place for service users to be and allow the service users to be at ease with the service provider allowing the service user to open up to the provider so all their needs are met even the ones they are embarrassed or feel ashamed about. Increased performance suggests the reliability and if the service provider is a good provider to join which gives the provider a good reputation and more users wanting to join. Not demonstrating equality can increase the risk of possible legal action which will lead the service provider to either closing down or paying a hefty fine, this does not give them a good reputation and people could hesitate in joining the prober and putting their life in such people’s hands (flicklearning.com).
Diversity aims to recognise, respect and value peoples difference to contribute and realise their full potential by promoting an inclusive culture for all. It also means understanding and appreciating interdependence of humanity and practising mutual respect for qualities and experience that are different (www.bartleby.com). The benefits of diversity are that there are a variety of different perspectives, increased profits, and increased creativity. A variety of different perspectives is highly beneficial when it comes to planning and executing a business strategy as different people with different skill sets and ideas will be present allowing different people from different backgrounds to become one and work together which may have a positive impact on the business. Companies with diverse workforce make better decision faster as there are different people with different strategies which give them a serious advantage over their competitors; as a result they achieve better business results and reap more profit. Nurses bring their philosophical cultural heritage as well as the cultural and philosophical views of their education in to the professional setting allowing different methods of treatment to be used increasing the percentage of death rates and diseases (talentlyft.com).
Service providers can cater to the diverse needs of their service users by creating individual care plans to reflect the likes, dislikes, personal history and any beliefs of the individuals.
A good diverse practise means that a fair and accessible service is provided for everyone
Individual rights are legal entitlements, for example, the right to education, the right to freedom of speech, and the right to choose. In health and social care an example of individual rights service users have are the right to individuality, security, dignity, respect, privacy, and individual needs being met regardless of their age, gender, ethnic origin, sexual preference, economic status, or religious beliefs (prezi.com). Service provider must promote individual rights as it can be empowering to service users and make the more independent. For example, a care worker must actively promote individual rights of their service user in order to maintain quality practise. Service users have the right to make complex decisions for them and must always be consulted on matters that will affect them, if a carer makes a decision makes decisions for a service user without gaining their input, this would then be in violations of the service uses individual rights. When a service user is deciding on what treatment to opt for a carer should provide them with required information, but allow them to make the choice. Essentially, a carer should be assisting the service user to maintain their lifestyle by providing the necessary care, rather than the service user alternating their lifestyle to fit in with how the care setting is run (markedbyteachers.com). The benefits of promoting individual rights are to recognise the importance for all service users to retain their independence and encourage service users to act and think as an individual. This will help individuals throughout their life and give them a sense of independence and not always having to depend on someone when doing day to day tasks.
Equality, diversity, and individual rights are essential components of heath and social care as it makes sure the services provided to people are fair and accessible to everyone. They ensure that people are treated as equals, get the dignity and respect they deserve and that their difference are celebrated and not looked at as a way of having to treat them completely different to others. It is important that promoting equality, diversity and individual rights are that the heart of what a service provider does. All service users are individual people and service providers should always strive to ensure that their diverse needs are met and ensure that have equal access to the services provided. Promoting these values is primarily concerned with preventing discrimination. Sometimes a provider may be discriminating against a user unintentionally, particularly if the adult is vulnerable because of their health, age or disability, so having awareness of the potential barriers and how to remove them is essential (highspeedtraining.co.uk).
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