Withinhealth and social care there is always a goal to prevent discrimination andpromote equality whether it is with the staff or the service users. This isvital in making sure that everyone gets the best possible environment for workand help.
Equality,Diversity, and discrimination are all linked very closely but have completelydifferent meanings. Equality is defined as “The right of different groups ofpeople to have similar social position and receive the same treatment”Cambridge.org 2018. This means that everyone should be given equalopportunities regardless of their characteristics. The Equality act of 2010ensures that service users and workers are treated fairly by companies and arenot discriminated against due to their protected characteristics. Thesecharacteristics are: race, sex, sexual orientation, gender, disability,pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief, marriage and civil partnership.Diversityis “The fact of many different types of things or people being included insomething; A range of different things or people.
” Cambridge.org 2018. Anexample of this would be the city of London as it has a large variety of peoplefrom different cultures and religions all gathered in one place, making it adiverse area. Discriminationis “Treating a person or particular group of people differently, especially ina worse way from the way in which you treat other people, because of their skincolour, sex, sexuality, etc.” Cambridge 2018. However, Discrimination is notalways negative. Positive discrimination is when a person or group of peoplereceive better treatment due to having a protected characteristic. For example,A company might hire a person undergoing Gender reassignment to reach the”standard” of diversity expected in a workplace.
In ahealth and social care setting it is important to promote anti discriminatorypractices. The 3 Case studies I have chosen for this task are; Nusrat Patel,Patrick Green, and Alice Fernandez. All three of these people have one or moreprotected Characteristic that need to be taken into account when caring forthem.Nusratis a 19 year old female with a learning disability and epilepsy.
Her Care teamwere sure to give her the treatment she needs, focusing on what she can do,with the possibility to make adjustments if the care she receives did not suither. This had been achieved through communication with both her and her mother,meaning that even though Nusrat could not always get across what she wanted orneeded, she was involved in the planning of her own care which was likely togive her more confidence in the care she was being given. Due to her learningdisability, Nusrat was also given an advocate to attend the meetings and helpget across what she wanted to say.
Although she was originally involved in themeetings, the addition of an advocate means that the centre has taken a step toavoid discrimination against her. She would have more of a say in what type oftreatment she got than without one as she was able to communicate effectivelywith the staff at the centre, causing her to have as much freedom in what typeof support she recieved as a service user without a learning difficulty.PatrickGreen is 26 years old and is in a relationship with a male partner.
He has beentested positive for HIV. His martial arts trainer, despite Patrick’s worrieswill still allow him to use the facilities and continue taking classes withoutany limitations, showing that he will be treated as if he was any other memberof the facility. The same goes for at the sexual health centre, where he willstill be treated with the same courtesy and respect of any other individual. Thisis important as it will not only maintain good relations with both his trainerand Simon at the sexual health clinic, but he will also be able to feel secureand safe, instead of people treating him like a hazard and pushing him awaywhich could lead to him feeling unwanted and ‘dirty’. An act ofanti-discriminatory practice would be Simon at the sexual health clinic helpingto refer Patrick and James to a consultation at the Terrance Higgins trust,where as a consequence they have been offered either face to face counsellingor online. They have spoken to their GP where necessary changes have been put intoplace including a change of their lifestyle, and prescribed antiretroviraltreatment. This has also led to arrangements to meet the local housing officerwho could help them with any concerns involving housing.
AliceFernandes is 74 years old and has a habit of spending her pension on alcoholrather than on healthy food. Due to her alcohol intake she is giving off astrong scent of alcohol which interrupts members of her aerobics class whichshe takes part in. Although the manager has allowed her to continue taking herclasses there, he has asked her to remain separate from the other members asthey have complained about her scent being distracting. This decision was madewith the aerobics class and it is implied, without her knowledge. Although themanager has to take everyone’s views into account, this could be considered anact of direct discrimination because even though this is not caused by themanager having an issue with any protected characteristics, they have decidedto treat her differently in a negative way and have her stand separately fromthe group. However they did ask Alice to see a doctor due to her medicationmaking her lethargic and volunteered to act as an advocate at her meeting withher G.P due to Alice finding it difficult to personally express her concerns.
As a result of seeing her G.P, both Alice and her doctor agreed that she shouldbe put in sheltered accommodation to receive support. After asking for ameeting with a local housing association with the help of an advocate, the G.Parranged for a volunteer advocate to attend the meeting with her to helpsupport Alice and help her get across what she wants to say. Thoughall three case studies had some indication of advocacy (Nusrat and Alice hadexplicit advocates whereas Patrick’s trainer helped him make an appointment atthe sexual health clinic). This is not the only initiative that exists toprevent discrimination.
Theseinclude: complaint services, the equality act 2010 (This prevents employers,care staff etc., from discriminating against someone due to protectedcharacteristics), mental capacity act 2005 (This act means that as long aspeople have the capacity to make decisions effectively, they can decide whatthey want e.g. what type of care they want to receive, however if they do nothave the capacity then they can have an advocate help them to decide or makethe decision for them.) etc.Whencaring for others, people should possess what are known as the 6 C’s.
These arecare, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment.Throughouteach case study, each of the 6 C’s are shown to be used in how people treatthose involved.Nusrat’steam showed care by having her involved in the meetings about the care shereceives and giving her an advocate so that she would be able to make her voiceheard in them. Showing a non-judgemental approach to her mental illness andacknowledging that despite her illness, she should be able to have a say in thetype of care that she receives. It is mentioned in her case study that eventhough she needs assistance when going to the toilet in case of an epilepticepisode, the person who accompanies her gives Nusrat as much privacy as theypossibly can, the care team has also made sure that her care plan is flexiblein order to make room for any changes in her condition, meaning that they madethe care plan about her and what suits Nusrat’s needs instead of using astandard plan, which clearly shows that they have compassion for her. Nusratsteam show competence when they acknowledge that some parts of her condition areout of their depth and they refer Nusrat to an epilepsy specialist where shecan receive support from someone with a higher level of knowledge about hercondition.
It is said in the care plan that both Nusrat and her mother areinvolved in meeting about her care. The care centre is also shown to giverefferals to other organisations and actively look for people who could furtherhelp her with the care she receives, showing communication, communicationskills, and courage as they are trying to find the best care available for herand actively conversing with Nusrat and her mother about the care she isreceiving. This also ties in to commitment as they are focused on Nusrat andwhat type of help and support she needs. The fact that her care plan isflexible to change also shows flexibility within staff in the care centre, whoare willing to change the type of treatment and support she needs whereappropriate, also showing observation skills as they would not be able to do thiswithout keeping an eye on her condition and whether it deteriorates orimproves.WithinPatrick’s case study there are clear examples of care such as when he istalking to his martial arts instructor and is reassured that despite havingHIV, he will not be treated any differently than the people who don’t, and heis told the same by the sexual health clinic about how he will be treatedthere. He was also told that he would be put in contact with a housing officerto help support both him and his partner with any housing issues, this actshows both care and compassion as it is clear the person at the sexual healthclinic cares about what could happen to Patrick in regards to his wellbeing.
This is also an example of Simon showing empathy to Patrick. Competence andendearing trust was shown when Patrick’s martial arts instructor referredPatrick to the sexual health clinic as he knew that he was not able to helpPatrick and instead passed him on to someone who could. Endearing trust wasshown when Patrick disclosed his possible illness to his martial arts teacheras he didn’t have to tell him but decided to anyway, showing a trust betweenthe two individuals.
Both his martial arts teacher and Simon from the sexualhealth clinic showed communication on both a personal and professional level asthey both passed on necessary information such as his health worries but alsospoke with him on a personal level and reassured him that he would not beshunned because of his HIV status, showing that both of them have good peopleskills. Both showed courage and commitment to Patrick. Courage was shown bySimon when he organised a meeting with the housing officer as he did not haveto do this but committed to it anyway as he believed that it would benefit hisservice user. This act also showed commitment as he had Patrick’s best interestin mind when making the arrangement an attempt to reassure him and giving ahigher level of wellbeing.
Carewas shown with Alice Fernandez when the manager of the centre she attendsaerobics in suggested that she should go to meeting for AA as well as talkingto her doctor about her medication making her lethargic, showing that he hasconcerns about hear health and wellbeing. However, the manager also shows adistinct lack of care when he says that the smell of alcohol on her caused”distress to the trainer and class members” which made Alice feel victimisedand judged. This also points out a lack of empathy and communication skills ona personal level as there may have been another way of wording it in order tomake sure she was not offended. It was implied they did not have any empathyfor her as the manager said how her scent caused distress to people, showingthat he was thinking more about the class members than on her and why she wouldoften smell of alcohol. However since they did give Alice some options onpeople and places that could help her, they did still have enough compassionand courage to try and help her but the competence to know that they did nothave any way of helping her themselves.
Communication was shown by both Alice’sdoctor and the manager on a professional level. It was shown by the managerwhen acting as an advocate for her during her session with the G.P, alsoshowing endearing trust as it was stated that she had trouble showing herpersonal expressions but she trusted the manager to help her get across heremotions. her doctor showed good communication on both a personal andprofessional level when discussing her medication and asking her opinion onbeing in sheltered living before making the arrangements for that to takeeffect as they listened to what Alice had to say about the situation (personalcommunication) and making contact with the accommodation association(professional level). The G.P showed clear commitment to helping Alice as theywere not only willing to change her medication but also offer alternatives toit for Alice, showing that they wanted Alice to receive the appropriate carebut in a way that would suit her preferences. The fact that the G.P was the onewho brought up the housing association further proves the commitment to carethey give her.
Ipreviously talked briefly about how some people in the case studies showed goodcommunication skills on a personal level but they also had more people skills.The main one being problem solving skills.Thiswas shown with Nusrat when talking about a member of staff assisting her to thetoilet as they recognised she needed help.
As a result the staff did help herbut also tried to give her as much privacy as they possibly could by being asdiscreet as possible. This is also an example of dealing with a difficultsituation as they needed to balance the support given to her with her right toprivacy.Patrick’sG.P showed problem solving skills by offering to arrange a visit with the localhousing officer in an attempt to try and help them with any problems that mayarise from his landlord as a result of his HIV positive status. While histrainer did not show any problem solving skills he was able to deal with a difficultsituation. This could be considered as a difficult situation by the fact thatone of his students told him about a possible health problem and he had to finda place where Patrick could get support and advice. He also showed honesty bynot only discussing with Patrick about setting up an appointment with the GPand in reassuring him that the way he was treated at the classes would notchange.ForAlice, problem solving and dealing with a difficult situation was shown by themanager at the centre where she attends aerobics classes when he compromisedwith Alice that she could both still attend the aerobics class as well as go toa local AA group.
Meaning that she could both receive the support she neededand still take part in recreational activities. Also showing negotiation skillsas well as the manager started by saying she could attend the alcoholicssupport group instead of aerobics, however after discussing it with Alice heallowed her to carry on attending aerobics while also going to the AA meetings.Theonly personal skill not shown is a sense of humour. This is missing from boththe people in the case studies and those around them. This could possibly bedue to the fact that these were serious problems and needed to have aprofessional mind-set at all times. However that is not to say that healthcareprofessionals should not have a sense of humour as it allows a more personalconnection between the service user and the staff.
This helps when making careplans and the user being more open with the staff they are with as they feel acloser connection. It also helps to relieve the stress from a bad situation,e.g. a negative diagnosis, putting the service user at ease and helping themthrough a tough time.
Attachmentand resilience often go hand in hand and support each other. Connie Rees statedthat “The attachments of both child and parents affect children’s physical,psychological, behavioural, and developmental wellbeing.” ncbi.nlm.nih.
gov, 2007 and goes on to say that a lack of asecure attachment at a young age to a care giver can result in physical andmental ill health later in life and argues that although attachment throughoutlife is important, it is most crucial in the earlier years of development, mostnoticeably a call and response type of attachment where a baby or caregiverwill make an expression and the other will respond with something similar,making a social attempt with eachother. This promotes healthy communication andhelps the child’s mind to form better with less chance of mental illness.The triangle of care acts as a framework for health andsocial care services in how they should communicate with patients andprofessionals. This is important as it allows for a more diverse range of care,meaning that the service user is more likely to get successful help and thecarer is able to pass information to more specialist people who can give adviceor give separate support. An example from the case studies would be Nusrat. Inthe case study it is said that her and her main carer (her mother) conversewith the staff at the community centre.
Later it is said that the centrecontact people more specialised in epilepsy and learning disabilities who wouldlikely provide separate treatment but converse with both the people at the centreand Nusrat and her mother in order to improve the care she receives.Although the triangle of care was used in each case study Ichose to use Nusrat’s one as an example as she had the most recognisable andobvious existence of the triangle of care.Johannes Volkelt was a German philosopher who framedempathy as if you could understand what someone is trying to portray such as apiece of art but only if your personality coincided with it.
For example if youare a calm person and looked at a calm painting such as a beach, then you arelikely to extract and feel emotions from the art piece, whereas if you were aviolent or hyperactive person you would not be able to feel the emotions tryingto be portrayed but may understand what the artist was trying to show. This canrelate to people as well. For example if someone has recently lost a relativeand you have lost one in the past, you would understand what they are feeling,meaning that you have empathy for that person. All of this ties in with anti-discriminatory practicewithin health and social care. As attachment, the triangle of care, and empathyall relate into caring for people, and without one of these then it is likelythat the other two will not be as effective (although empathy could be changed forsympathy).
An example for one of these failing could be discrimination e.g.Discrimination because of sexuality. If a service user is discriminated against by a carer thenthey are less likely to form an attachment. This would lead to a lower chance ofthe service user discussing problems openly with the carer which would lead tothe carer not looking for professional help for a problem or condition thatthey are not trained to deal with such as epilepsy. This in turn would lead toa lower quality of care for the service user and they would be less likely tolook for support in the future.
It is important that no person is discriminated against inhealth and social care, whether it is staff, a service user, or a carer as theyall need to work together in order to give a good quality of care. Howeverthere is no way of guaranteeing that there will not be discrimination so it isequally important to have anti-discrimination procedures such as a complaintsprocedure where people’s concerns are looked at and resolved, or advocacyservices where those who cannot speak for themselves are able to get theirvoices heard. Patrick Green, Nusrat Patel and Alice Fernandez all had peoplewho acted as advocates in one way or another for them.
And without these advocatesnone of them would have been able to get their voices heard, whether it wouldbe because they were ashamed or could not think coherently. However sincepeople did advocate for them then they all received a higher quality of careand were included in decisions about how they would be treated.