Promote equality and inclusion in health and social care
Diversity literally means difference. Diversity recognises that though people have things in common with each other, they are also different and unique in many ways. Diversity is about recognising and valuing those differences. Diversity therefore consists of visible and non-visible factors, which include personal characteristics such as background, culture, personality and work-style in addition to the characteristics that are protected under discrimination legislation in terms of race, disability, gender, religion and belief, sexual orientation and age.
Equality means treating people in a way that is appropriate for their needs equally and fairly. Equality in Health and Social Care settings is about supporting each individual to live their life as they wish, giving them appropriate opportunities to make choices and decisions to the best of their ability about care, treatment and management.
Inclusion means including people in a way that makes them feel valued and respected. Treating individuals fairly and respecting the difference between them makes it easier to include them.
Discrimination can affect people in different ways the effects can be physical, emotional or a combination of both. When an individual is Discriminated against it can exclude them from friends, family, neighbours and society in general. The individuals self worth is reduced as they feel isolated and alone. The most common forms of discrimination are racial remarks, being called insulting names and being the butt of hurtful jokes.
Effects of discrimination physically and emotionally :-
Low self esteem Depression
Feeling stressed or unable to cope
Inclusive practice is about the attitudes, approaches and strategies taken to ensure people are not excluded or isolated. It means supporting diversity by accepting and welcoming peoples differences and promoting equality by ensuring equal opportunities for all. In addition inclusive practice involves having an understanding of the disastorous impact that discrimination, inequality and social exclusion can have on a individuals physical and mental health. Having such an understanding ensures appropriate, peronalised care and support, thereby enabling an individual to develop self respect and maintain a valued role in society.
There are various pieces of legislation in place to promote equality and reduce discrimination. Theses include :-