To understand equality and diversity within the care sector we first need to understand what is meant by each.
“Diversity, everyone is individual and different.”
“Equality, Equal access to opportunity.”
Regardless of age, race, gender, class, sexual orientation, religion or belief, disability, or the passport they hold, everyone should enjoy an equal opportunity.
These rules should apply throughout society but are especially important when it comes to health and social care where people with special needs, disability or the elderly may struggle to take care of themselves.
Therefore, care homes involve tailoring care and support packages to the individual requirements of the service user, recognising differences and reducing inequality.
The service aims to celebrate differences (because of ethnic background etc) between individuals. It avoids treating people unequally. It recognises that treating people unequally can result in their losing their dignity, respect, self-esteem and self-worth and ability to make choices.
We are all from different walks of life and diverse backgrounds, but we will all need help at some stage in our lives and it is important that everybody’s rights are safeguarded and protected by legislations.
How We Promote Equality And Diversity
It is crucially important to promote equality and diversity in any care environment, whether you are working in health and social care or anywhere else. The important factor is that all staff members fully understand the policy so that they can implement it in everything they do in their day-to-day activities.
To develop our company equality and diversity policy and ensure we follow the Health and Social Care Act 2008:
• Person-Centred Care — requires service providers to ensure that the care and treatment of resident must be appropriate, must meet their needs, and must reflect their preferences
• Dignity and Respect — requires that residents must be treated with dignity and respect at all times, including respect for personal preferences, lifestyle choices, diversity and culture
• Meeting Nutritional and Hydration needs — requires service providers to ensure that the nutritional and hydration needs of residents are met, including the meeting of any reasonable requirements of a resident for food and hydration arising from the resident’s preferences or their religious or cultural background
• Premises and Equipment — requires that residents can easily access premises, and where this is not the case, reasonable adjustments are made in accordance with the Equalities Act 2010 and other relevant legislation and guidance.
In addition to the Health and Social Care Act, regular inspectors are carried out by Care Quality Commission (CQC), who regulate health and social care services. CQC ensure service users have safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care, which also protects them from bullying, harassment, avoidable harm and abuse that may breach their human rights.