By Sarah Lamb
P1: Explain the concepts of equality, diversity and right in relation to health and social care.
Equality – being equal, especially in rights, status or opportunities. All individuals should be treated equally, and there are laws in place to ensure this happens. In accordance with the law, organisations have equality policies to ensure that everyone is treated equally.
Diversity - means accepting and respecting differences. This means that everyone is recognised as being different and their differences is valued and respected.
The benefits of diversity
Britain is a truly multicultural society with a huge variety of people from different backgrounds who live and work all over the country.
The largest immigrant groups live in and around London, with other groups concentrated in industrial centres in Yorkshire, the midlands and the rest of the south- east.
Diversity should benefit all of us, with people valuing each other and experiencing a strong bond with others from different backgrounds. This is sometimes not the case; some people fear something they know nothing about and discriminate against those from different backgrounds. These people may use health and social care services themselves as some time in their lives and you need to be aware of any unfair and unwarranted discrimination from them. They usually act out of ignorance and may cause upset and offence. However they still need to be treated fairly and this will undoubtedly test you.
In total 6.5% of the British population consists of ethnic minorities. The british population is made up of the following ethnic groups –
White – 53,074,000
Black Caribbean – 490,000
Black African – 376,000
Black other – 308,000
Indian – 930,000
Pakistani – 663,000
Bangladeshi – 268,000
Chinese – 137,000
Other Asian – 209,000
Other – 424,000
When working in the health and social care profession you must know and understand how to use appropriate terminology with regard to equality and diversity. Words like empowerment, diversity, stereotyping must be used in the right context. Without this knowledge you will find it difficult to communicate in a diverse workforce and you may find yourself in an embarrassing situation if you use the words incorrectly.
The benefit of diversity affects our whole lives as well as the health and social care sector –
The arts provide a valuable way of bringing diversity to a wide audience. For example, films made in other countries can demonstrate culture from around the world in a form that is easy to understand and may intrigue as well as educate people about other cultures.
Another good reason to enjoy a multicultural society is its food. In many recent surveys in Britain the Chinese dish chow mein was voted the favourite food. With Indian food being the other main choice, Mexican food was extremely popular and stir-fries were considered a very healthy option. Only 6% of the 1000 people questioned admitted to never eating ethnic food.
Education has seen big development over recent years with diverse cultures being explored and valued within the curriculum. Schools and colleges now include studies in a wide range of cultures and