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Copy of National Initiatives and Anti-discriminatory Practice
Transcript of Copy of National Initiatives and Anti-discriminatory Practice
In this part of the assignment I will be explaining how National Initiatives promote anti discriminatory practice and how it is promoted in health and social care settings. I will then be assessing a recent national initiative policy promoting anti discriminatory practice and the difficulties that may arise in a health and social care setting to put into practice anti discrimination. To conclude I will be evaluating a recent initiative that has been successful in promoting anti discrimination and how to overcome difficulties that may arise when anti discrimination is put in to place in a health and social care setting.
What is an Anti discriminatory practice?
It is action taken to prevent discrimination on the grounds of race, class, gender, disability etc and it takes into account how we behave towards other individuals. It is very important for all employees in a care setting promoting practice in the workplace as it is a way of overcoming prejudice, in doing so they are trying to get rid of discrimination and promote equality for service users and for the staff who are employed in providing service for the people.
What is a National Initiative?
These come under the sector of anti discriminatory practices where they over come discrimination if it takes place. There are three main national initiatives which cover anti discriminatory practice they are; Conventions, legislation and regulations. Code of Practice and charters as well as, the organisational policies and procedures. These initiatives are very important to society and towards health and social care sector as it ensures that each individual is treated equally and that there is no inequality created between individuals no matter what race, colour, gender, age, culture, disabilities, social class, cognitive ability or health status they may be.
The codes of conduct help guide service providers on their roles, rights and responsibilities it also helps understand service users on what to expect from the service providers through the support they get and the way they are treated from the health and social care staff. Most of them have a charter or code of practice which they have to follow and go according to it. This is done by the General Social Care Council who help social workers by teaching them the rules of conduct and training which they then need to apply to their profession in a particular care setting. The code also tells them what the service users need to expect from the providers and if they are treated unfairly they have the right to complain. In addition, working in a health and social care environment the service providers need to be aware of the codes of practice and charters and ensure they are given training about them. The codes apply to the:
• General Social Care Council in the UK
• Care Council for Wales
• Northern Ireland Social Care Council.
Also the codes apply to everyone working in a voluntary, private and legal area.
Furthermore, most organisations have charters who inform the service providers as well as those using the services on what they have to expect. By doing this the Care Quality Commission are involved. They control the principles in health and social care to help the government by using appropriate charters as a starting point when reviewing a particular organisation. For example, the Care Quality Commission in the Winterbourne case study. They were asked to carry out an urgent investigation but failed and ignored one of the former nurses working at the residential hospital who tried to inform them on what was happening. But they later recognised that there were indications at the hospital which should have led them in taking action sooner rather than later to stop the horrific abuse that innocent vulnerable people were going through.
However, there are rules and guidelines on procedures within organisations and how they should be carried out to promote anti discrimination. Managers in health and social care have a responsibility to support and guide service providers in their employment to make sure they provide equality, diversity and rights to service users. This involves positive promotion of individual rights, advocacy, work practices and staff development and training.
Firstly, positive promotion of individual rights can be seen through notice boards in the hallways, reception areas or staff rooms. Having a charter for example, should be put on display for the service users to read. In addition, policies and procedures should be available for the service providers to read to help them guide to certain things if they are unsure about anything or they can be informed of where the policies and procedures can be found. Also staff should be given handbooks when they have been employed to a specific role and regular training should be given to make sure that all health and social care providers are kept up to date with changes and reminded of their duty of care.
Secondly, advocacy is when a person is speaking or representing another individual who are too ill or frail to speak for themselves or they don’t even know their own rights as an individual and requires assistance for someone to make these decisions related to care or treatment. The advocate can be a professional worker or even a friend or relative and next of kin. But the advocate should make sure they are talking on behalf of the individual and not put their own views across.
Thirdly, in work practices service providers must be aware of all the health and social care practices that upload and value an anti discriminatory approach, through a pro –active approach. They must make sure they:
• Update themselves on policy and training
• Read staff handbooks on procedures
• Acknowledge practice under the guidelines of work placement policies and procedures.
If they fail to do this with these policies and procedures then the result could be that they enter a legal battle, disciplinary action or be dismissed and face a prison sentence. For instance, in Winterbourne the staff who failed to meet the policies and procedures that were set in the hospital and abused individuals were arrested after being witnessed and filmed by the BBC.
Also staff and development and training is another way to promote an anti discriminatory practice as health and social care service providers would be fully trained and they would have to keep up to date with changes in policies and procedures as well as legislations and technology. All these changes are updated and very important for service providers to follow as technology changes rapidly and so do procedures. Equality, diversity and rights legislation are also updated and staff must be informed of these changes when they arise.
The national policy initiative ‘The New Equality Rights Act 2010’ aims in banning discrimination by employers, covering areas such as age, disability and pay which have come into force across the UK. The Equality Act covers many workplace areas and portrays nine separate pieces of legislation into a single Act. The act replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single act to make the law simpler and to remove inconsistencies. This makes the law easier for people to understand and abide by. The act also strengthened protection in some situations.
The Equality act covers nine protected characteristics, which cannot be used as a reason to treat people unfairly. Every person has one or more of the protected characteristics, so the act protects everyone against unfair treatment. The protected characteristics are:
• Gender reassignment
• Marriage and civil partnership
• Pregnancy and maternity
• Religion or belief
• Sexual orientation
The Act also sets out the different ways in which it is unlawful to treat someone, such as direct and indirect discrimination, harassment, victimisation and failing to make a reasonable adjustment for a disabled person. It also prohibits unfair treatment in the workplace, when providing goods, facilities and services, when applying public functions, in the disposal and management of premises, in education and by associations for example, private clubs.
The Equalities Minister Theresa May said it will now be easier for service providers to obey with anti-discrimination rules. However, some business groups argued the new legislation will require a heavy burden on employers. The new laws apply in England, Wales and Scotland, but not Northern Ireland. The new law controls the circumstances in which employers can ask job applicants questions about disability or health prior in offering them a position, making it more difficult for disabled people to be treated unfairly. There are also new powers for employment hearings. The Act will also stop employers using pay secrecy to prevent employees discussing their own pay, which means men and women can compare pay. But the Act will not make employers reveal how much they pay men compared with women, as had been planned by the Labour government.
However, some campaigners argued that this amendment undermines the new legislation. Ceri Goddard, chief executive of Fawcett Society said "rowing back on the requirement for big business to publish and take action on any differences in pay between men and women employees is tantamount to endorsing the shocking gender pay gap." Whereas, the Equality and Human Rights Commission said "everyone is protected by the new law.” This is because the Act covers age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, gender and sexual orientation.
Under the act people are not allowed to discriminate, harass or victimise another person because they belong to a group that the Act protects. But some business groups argued that the new rules cause trouble on companies at a time when they are still trying to recover from the recession. Abigail Morris from the British Chambers of Commerce told the BBC. “The government's own impact assessment shows that this is going to cost £190m just for businesses to understand the legislation, and this at a time when we really need them to be concentrating on creating private sector jobs and driving economic recovery." But, during the summer there were some concerns about the new rules expressed by shipping companies. Where some people claimed the laws could force them to quit the UK because they would have to pay UK rates to foreign-based seafarers who do not have the burden of British living costs.
The national policy initiative of the Equality of Human rights Act 2010 has been successful in promoting anti discriminatory practice for example, individuals with disability who found it very difficult getting into the setting because the service had steps instead of a ramp for wheelchair users. This showed inequality and discrimination to people with disability as there was no appropriate facility for individuals with disability could use. In order to make the practice an anti discriminatory the service providers should replace a ramp instead of steps which would make it easier for wheelchair users to use.
On the other hand, a recent case study where the national policy was not working was from the BBC where basic home care help is breaching human rights. The home care review by the Equality and Human Rights Commission found some signs of physical abuse, theft, neglect and disregard for privacy and dignity. The home care review said about half of people who had given evidence reported approval with care, but a number of common complaints were made by others. As Older people not been given enough support to eat and drink, with some staff arguing health and safety restrictions prevented them preparing hot meals. Neglect because care workers stick firmly to their tasks, such as a case when a woman was left stuck on the toilet because staff were too busy. Financial abuse, including money been stolen over a period of time. Chronic disregard for privacy and dignity, such as leaving people unwashed and putting them to bed in the afternoon. Patronising behaviour, with cases highlighted including staff talking on mobile phones while they tended to clients and also physical abuse involving pushing and rough handling.
Equality Human Rights commissioner Baroness Sally Greengross, who led the report, said it was time home care provided by councils should be included in the Human Rights Act. As one of the ways to stop it continuing is to close the loophole, which means that any care that's specially made by a local authority or another public body should come under the Human Rights Act so people are protected from abuse.
The Equality Humans Right Act 2010 could be improved further as service providers are not meeting the needs of the patients as there are still signs of mistreatment and abuse. As the above article has shown elderly people are not being well looked after by the service providers.
To promote a more anti discriminatory practice I think that cameras should be put into place in health and social care settings so that the head of the services are aware of what is happening around in the environment and how the service providers are treating the patients and whether they are meeting their needs. However, putting these cameras into health and social care settings could invade service user’s privacy as they like to keep themselves to themselves. But in order to go ahead with putting cameras into the settings they should ask consent from the service users on whether they are happy in allowing them to put these types of technology into the building for their safety. This would create a more anti discriminatory practice and it would be safer as there would be equipment that is put in place in the setting to stop all these dangerous situations occurring to the service users and make the setting more user friendly.
• Author Unknown. (01/10/2010). New equality rights in workplace come into force. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11446650. Last accessed 04/02/2012.
• Author Unknown. (23/11/2011). Basic home care helps 'breaching human rights'. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-15836500. Last accessed 04/02/2012.
• Author Unknown. (Date Unknown). Equality Act 2010. Available: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/equalities/equality-act/. Last accessed
A good anti discriminatory practice such as the Children Centre would include a policy file, breastfeeding policy, fire exits and first aid if there was an accident as the Children’s Act 1989 suggests that the child should be supported, safe and cared for by the setting from any harm. The policy file that the centre develops is to improve children’s lives and their needs. This is because the Children’s Act 2004 which was updated ‘aims to encourage better service provisions for all aspects of children’s welfare and health.’ (Whitehouse 2010 page 72). This is because it is important for the setting to give children the best possible care and safety that parents are after as parents trust the service providers in looking after their children and providing them a good service.
In order to promote an active anti discriminatory practice a health and social care setting should include ethical principles. There are four specific principles that are needed in a health and social care setting these are:
• Justice: People should be treated fairly no matter what background they come from.
• Autonomy: A person’s choices must be respected.
• Beneficence: Involves risk and costs; the service provider should act in a way that benefits the service users.
• Non-maleficence: Harm which is caused by treatment or involvement should not be more important than the benefits of the treatment provided.
These principles are valued in a care practice and are built upon ethical principles and put’s the individual at the heart of health and social care provision where they provide:
• Active support and reliable with the beliefs, culture and preferences of the service user is needed.
• Individuals should be supported in expressing their needs and preferences
• They should be empowered
• Promote individual’s rights, choices and well-being.
Providing active support consistent with beliefs, culture and preferences of the service user means helping the individual by taking into account their beliefs, culture and preferences when making decisions in a health and social care setting. For example, if a person with learning difficulty comes into a residential care setting. Then the service providers have the responsibility to listen and support needed when the individual is trying to read or socialise. They should also make sure that their personal care is met with sensitivity and diligence. However, the individual may need support of an advocate such as; advice and guidance-rights, medical and care planning information, physical support like dressing, personal care also social support and mental health support developing coping strategies. This has to be treated with sensitivity and thoughtfulness especially when a person is needed for mental health support. They could involve social workers, community mental health nurses, occupational therapists and psychiatrists, physiologists, counsellors and community support workers, such as home helps. These people would take good care and meet the individual’s needs by giving them advice on coping strategies.
Furthermore, another way on promoting a good anti discriminatory practice in a health and social care setting is supporting individuals in expressing their needs and preferences. This could mean supporting an individual who is deaf and by supporting their needs and preferences the service provider would organise a communication support such as a sign language interpreter. This may be an employee or a friend, a relative or a person from the community. This is very important as it keeps the person informed about what is happening to them or what is going to happen to them, and to ensure that they can express their needs and preferences.
An individual can also be empowered as it gives them control of the service that they are using and it empowers them in the decisions that are being made for them. The person can make their own choices with all the information and facts explained to them and even if they do not make their choice then the service provider should respect their decision. For example, a patient refusing to have surgery in order to get better.
Promoting individuals rights, choices and well-being is also important to promote a good anti discriminatory practice. For example, people who find it difficult to communicate because they are either ill, have a disability or they are speakers from another language then help can be offered with language and communication. This can be done by putting information in English and in other forms of language, from Braille to pictures and different languages. Also when translation is needed for literature then the service provider should bring a translator otherwise, there could be a problem where the service user is given the wrong type of information, or the grammar and vocabulary used could be wrong which would make the individual feel they are not valued.
However, there are difficulties in providing a good anti discriminatory practice such as dealing with conflicts. This is because individuals can become aggressive and tensed because the care they are receiving doesn’t seem to be helpful towards their problems. For a health and social care provider it is important for them to be trained on how to deal with conflicts. But on the other hand, conflicts could also occur between staff particularly when different services are needed to care for an individual. When dealing with conflicts the person should be professional and positive also skills are needed such as; seeing both sides of the argument, being willing to listen, not taking sides, not sulking and letting things fester, being good at quick thinking and looking for solutions.
Personal beliefs and value systems develop throughout our lives and make us behave and react in certain ways it also helps us understand how other people would react. Such as influences on culture, individuals may come from different cultural backgrounds which could influence the way they communicate with people as there could be individuals that would dislike a person because of the background they come from for instance, an English person disliking a Gujarati person. This means that we should respect the culture of the people we work with and also the people using the health and social care services. Also beliefs would influence how individuals feel about one’s self as well as others. If an individual believes that they are not good at things, then they may react in a negative way to the people around them which could lead to a lack of confidence. This is why it is important to respect people’s beliefs.
Also, past events could have a positive or a negative influence on one’s behaviour so the service providers need to be aware of these especially when they are working in the health and social care sector. For example, a child who has experienced bullying and abuse in a care home and is then moved to another care home they would start developing negative feelings about this new care home by having thoughts into their head in happening to them again.
In addition, the environment can also influence individuals a great deal as money and social class sometimes plays a part. This is why it is important particularly working in a health and social care setting service providers should do their best in providing the same level of care no matter what the environment is like
It is very important for individuals staying committed to the care value base by abiding by it when working in a health and social care setting. Service providers should be honest and follow the rules and regulations given to them in order to promote a better anti discriminatory practice. If they are not committed to this then it would be a waste of time as not everyone can work within health and social care and commit to the care value base.