The Role of Equality and Diversity in Health and Social Care

Treat the person, not the condition

When developing resident-centred care plans, it’s vital to consider equality and diversity. These two elements of caregiving can be the difference between a fulfilled end-of-life experience and one which restricts the resident from access to essential care and quality of life.

In this article, you’ll learn how you can ensure that your staff deliver on equality, diversity, and rights in health and social care.

What is equality?

Equality is about treating people equally and fairly. It is essential to ensure that everyone has access to the care they need, without restrictions caused by race, religion, beliefs, or mental and physical health circumstances (for example, residents with dementia).

What is diversity?

Diversity is valuing people’s differences as part of a caring society, in which we address people’s different needs and situations in order to provide the care and attention they need.

Why does a care home need an effective equality and diversity policy?

Equality and diversity are considered key in all care environments, but may be especially so in care homes: you treat the person, not the condition.

For example, take the case of a resident, a devout Catholic, who is suffering from dementia. It may be appropriate to enable the resident to take communion in the local church. This could help the resident by engaging with other like-minded people and reaffirm her faith as she moves towards the end of her life. It cannot be argued that such policy would enhance her last days.

When you have staff that are trained in diversity and equality, your care home will more easily handle obstacles that prevent some people accessing the services they require or need. You will deliver to a more diverse patient base, as their loved ones are assured that you treat everyone equally, with respect and dignity. This also helps to support engagement with health planning and self-management of care within the care home.

7 key equality and diversity qualities of care home workers

Every one of your employees has an important role to play to promote equality and diversity. They will need to:

  1. Have communication skills that enable them to communicate effectively with a wide range of residents and others
  2. Recognise individual needs and adjust their actions accordingly
  3. Understand how religion and culture are determinants in the provision of health care
  4. Treat all with dignity and respect

In addition, with appropriate training, your employees will be able to:

  1. Recognise discrimination risks, and acts of direct or indirect discrimination
  2. Identify individual needs of diverse residents, and respond to these needs
  3. Report inequalities and discrimination without fear of recrimination

Equality, diversity and rights are not peripheral to good-quality care in care homes, but are key to delivering the individualised care that will set your care home apart from others, and help you gain an outstanding rating at your next CQC inspection.

To discover more about our fast-track NVQ Diploma in Health and Social Care and our suite of short courses, including Equality and Diversity, contact StriveCare today.

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