Promoting Equality and Diversity in Healthcare

Introduction

Equality is referred to as ensuring all the individuals in the society are provided equal opportunity and treated without discrimination against their characteristics. Diversity is referred to taking account of differences between groups of people or individuals and creating a positive value for the differences to be accepted (Tallo, 2017). In this study, equality and diversity based on the case study of Salome are to be discussed. For this purpose, the way equity and diversity in healthcare is to be maintained is to be discussed. Thereafter, the way prejudice and discrimination affect people and the individual’s rights at the healthcare is to be explained. Later, the use of the Equality Act 2010 is to be executed to present regarding the way equality and diversity rights is to be ensured in healthcare settings.

Way equality and diversity is to be promoted in healthcare

In healthcare, equality and diversity is to be promoted by making employees work by respecting the value, attributes and dignity of all people indifferent of their race, caste, sex and others. This is because such action would lead to limit the discrimination and ensure greater showing of value towards others to work co-ordinately (McBride, 2018). In case of Salome, the secretary and other staff nurses are to be educated regarding the way they are to value and show dignified attitude towards her so that equality and diversity are maintained in the workplace. As argued by Marcelin et al. (2019), failure to identify and prevent unconscious bias leads to increased inequality and lack of diversity in the healthcare environment. In case of Salome, it is seen that the unconscious bias made by the service manager towards her by avoiding considering her complaint against the staff and focussing only on previous conduct of others leads to show inequality and lack of diversity in the healthcare environment. This is because it shows that service manager does not equally treat all their employees and consider experienced employees to be lack of fault since they have never executed any racist action without the thought that they may make mistakes. Thus, to promote equality and diversity in healthcare, the compliance by the employees irrespective of their tenure at the work is to be examined so that required prevented action required can be taken to promote equality in the place (FitzGerald and Hurst, 2017).

The effective use of languages in making communication with others is essential in healthcare to promote equality and diversity. This is because avoiding discriminatory and sexist language in communication indicates individuals are not stereotyping others based on their protected characteristics and ensures showing respect towards others (Ali and Watson, 2018). In case of Salome, it is seen that the secretary used stereotyping remarks against her in language while communicating regarding her which led to the lack of equality and diversity in the care environment. The implication of policies and legislation which promotes equality and diversity in the workplace such as the Equality Act 2010 and others are to be made in healthcare. This is because they act as legal support and regulatory guidance for staff to be followed to ensure no discrimination in the care environment is portrayed under any condition (legislation.gov.uk, 2010). However, in case of Salome, it can be considered that effective policies and legislation are not strictly implemented in the environment to make employees follow them. It has led to development of bias at work for Salome and her unequal treatment. Equality and diversity are to be promoted in healthcare by creating the opportunity of whistleblowing and allowing reporting of discrimination (Glasper, 2017). In case of Salome, no effective information is available from the authority end regarding the process she should follow to report her racial discrimination leading her to feel helpless and wish of leaving her job.

Way prejudice and discrimination disempower individuals

In healthcare, the development of prejudice and discrimination disempower individuals by making them depressed and loss of self-control over own emotions and attitudes. This is because prejudice and discrimination lead individuals feel the loss of self-worth or self-esteem out of being differentially treated than other without their fault. Moreover, it causes individuals to develop feeling of worthlessness and unacceptance in the society leading to their depression (Brondani et al., 2017). In case of Salome, it is seen that prejudice and discrimination towards her shown by the staff nurse and nurse secretary has made her feel lack of self-worth as she reports to the patients during the conversation that anyone willing to act in a positive way would make her cry. The prejudice leads to disempower individuals in healthcare by failing to control their negative attitude towards others or any treatment leading them to act in an unconscious biased way towards others (Mallett and Monteith, 2019). In case of Salome, the secretary nurse by holding prejudice towards her that she may be living in mud house and making it consider as an issue disempower her to be able to show respect towards others and involve in discriminative action that could be punishable by law.

The discrimination against individuals makes them disempowered to take effective decisions with the use of supportive resources to act against the improper behaviour expressed towards them (Kawaii-Bogue et al., 2017). In case of Salome, it is seen that discrimination at the workplace made her disempowered even from making the service manager believe she is been verbally abused and racially discriminated. The discrimination makes individuals feel disempowered by failing to have resources that could benefit them and ensure their power in society (Kilicaslan and Petrakis, 2019). It is evident from Salome’s case where due to discrimination against her racial origin from all level of work, she feels disempowered to take actions against the discriminator and feel to leave the job as the only way to overcome the issue.

Discussing individual rights in healthcare

In healthcare, one of the individual rights derived from article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 is that all the individuals in the workplace have the right to be respected of their family and private life. This is because the right ensures privacy and confidentiality for others which is essential for reducing changes of harm or abuse towards them (legislation.gov.uk, 1998). This right may not be met when personal and family data of the individuals are publicly circulated in the workplace and available to be used by any individual without any need of the content. However, it could be met if the personal data of the patients and employees are stored secretly with password to be only known and used by required authorities (Luo et al., 2018). In case of Salome, no violation of the right is seen as her private and family life is not been drawn into communication under any context, not his personal data are publicly released in any condition.

The article 3 of Human Rights Act 1998 mentions that it is the right of any individuals in the workplace to be treated with respect and not in an inhumane or degrading way (legislation.gov.uk, 1998). This is because such attitude shows derogatory behaviour towards others which makes the people feel being discriminated (Remmert et al., 2019). The right to respect may not be met for the individual in the healthcare when the carers for patients or managing authorities for employees act against them in a vulnerable way by passing racist remarks, involving them into forceful jobs beyond their role and avoiding valuing their work as well as passing wrong information against them (Serchen et al., 2020). In case of Salome, the secretary is seen to nowhere respect her by making her execute duties in forceful manner beyond her role, passing wrong information against her and providing racist remarks. The right to respect can be met for Salome and similar others in the workplace if the managers and secretary or other higher officials are made to act in such a way that values the role and contribution of the individual at work. They are to respect others by approving their positive intention and motivating them to perform enhanced work (Bridges et al., 2021).

The individual rights in the healthcare setting also include the right to be treated with equality and no discrimination along with right to access to information relevant for the individual (Erdman, 2017). This right is not met when effective information is not shared with the individual and they are treated in discriminative manner at work (Erdman, 2017). In case of Salome, it seen that effective information regarding the way to manage duties are not provided as she did not understand way to refuse the secretary for the actions asked to be performed beyond his role. Moreover, she is discriminated based on her racial origin in the care environment. The action to meet the right is strict implication of equality policy at the healthcare settings with effective monitoring and reviewing of the actions of the individuals at work to ensure they are following the regulation (Umbreen and Jabeen, 2019)

Identifying equality and diversity legislation in healthcare settings

The Equality Act 2010 mentions nine key protected characteristics based on which discrimination cannot b executed which are age, disability, gender reassignment, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, religious belief and race (legislation.gov.uk, 2010). In case of Salome, it is seen that she is been discriminated in the basis of racial origin at the workplace. The Equality Act 2010 mentions that direct discrimination is discriminating a person by another because of protected characteristics and favouring them less than others are treated (legislation.gov.uk, 2010). In case of Salome, she has experienced direct discrimination as while other nurses are provided the opportunity to execute only their role, Salome is made to execute duties such as gathering patient report for the secretary which is beyond her job role. Moreover, racist remarks have been passed against her and she is mocked directly by the colleagues at work indicating she is suffering direct discrimination.

The Equality Act 2010 mentions that employers are to take effective actions in the workplace at all stages of employment to ensure no discrimination occurs in the environment. Employers are required to make casual adjustments as required to avoid discrimination at the workplace (legislation.gov.uk, 2010). In case of Salome, it is seen that the employer is intentionally remaining unaware of the discriminative actions performed against her by not believing her statement. Moreover, there is lack of effective monitoring or review at each level of employment to ensure no discrimination towards employees. This is because Salome is been discriminated at work by the secretary based on her racial condition and the service manager also discriminated her at work by not following her comments against the others and showing favouritism.

Conclusion

The above discussion mentions that equality and diversity in healthcare can be managed through effective implication of equality policy and procedure, supporting value and respect of employees, creating resources to report non-discrimination and others. The prejudice and discrimination disempower individuals in healthcare by making them mentally weak, feeling of lack of power and self-esteem, hindered self-control in making decision and others. The individual’s rights of the people in healthcare are respect, value, non-discrimination, lack of harm and others. The Equality Act 2010 is effective in ensuring equality in the workplace.

Recommendation

The recommendation developed from the study is that effective opportunity is to be created where staffs can anonymously report their concern regarding facing discrimination at any part of the employment. Moreover, it is recommended strict implication of equality policies and procedures are to be made at the workplace where Salome is working to ensure avoiding discrimination against her. In addition, effective monitoring and review team, is to be present at the workplace to analyse the discrimination reports and punish the people involved in the action by accurately identifying them.

References

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Bridges, C., Duenas, D.M., Lewis, H., Anderson, K., Opel, D.J., Wilfond, B.S. and Kraft, S.A., 2021. Patient perspectives on how to demonstrate respect: Implications for clinicians and healthcare organizations. Plos one, 16(4), p.e0250999.

Brondani, M.A., Alan, R. and Donnelly, L., 2017. Stigma of addiction and mental illness in healthcare: The case of patients’ experiences in dental settings. PloS one, 12(5), p.e0177388. Erdman, J.N., 2017. Human rights education in patient care. Public health reviews, 38(1), pp.1-15.

FitzGerald, C. and Hurst, S., 2017. Implicit bias in healthcare professionals: a systematic review. BMC medical ethics, 18(1), pp.1-18.

Glasper, A., 2017. Protecting whistleblowers against discrimination in the NHS. British Journal of Nursing, 26(9), pp.522-523.

Kawaii-Bogue, B., Williams, N.J. and MacNear, K., 2017. Mental health care access and treatment utilization in African American communities: An integrative care framework. Best Practices in Mental Health, 13(2), pp.11-29.

Kilicaslan, J. and Petrakis, M., 2019. Heteronormative models of health-care delivery: investigating staff knowledge and confidence to meet the needs of LGBTIQ+ people. Social work in health care, 58(6), pp.612-632.

legislation.gov.uk 1998, Human Rights Act 1998, Available at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/42/contents [Accessed on: 29 November 2021]

legislation.gov.uk 2010, Equality Act 2010, Available at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents [Accessed on: 29 November 2021]

Luo, E., Bhuiyan, M.Z.A., Wang, G., Rahman, M.A., Wu, J. and Atiquzzaman, M., 2018. Privacyprotector: Privacy-protected patient data collection in IoT-based healthcare systems. IEEE Communications Magazine, 56(2), pp.163-168.

Mallett, R.K. and Monteith, M.J. eds., 2019. Confronting prejudice and discrimination: The science of changing minds and behaviors. Academic Press.

Marcelin, J.R., Siraj, D.S., Victor, R., Kotadia, S. and Maldonado, Y.A., 2019. The impact of unconscious bias in healthcare: how to recognize and mitigate it. The Journal of infectious diseases, 220(Supplement_2), pp.S62-S73.

McBride, D., 2018. Caring for Equality: A History of African American Health and Healthcare. Rowman & Littlefield.

Remmert, J.E., Convertino, A.D., Roberts, S.R., Godfrey, K.M. and Butryn, M.L., 2019. Stigmatizing weight experiences in health care: Associations with BMI and eating behaviours. Obesity science & practice, 5(6), pp.555-563.

Serchen, J., Doherty, R., Atiq, O., Hilden, D. and Health and Public Policy Committee of the American College of Physicians*, 2020. Racism and health in the United States: a policy statement from the American College of Physicians. Annals of Internal Medicine, 173(7), pp.556-557.

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Umbreen, G. and Jabeen, C., 2019. Respect and Dignity Basic Right of a Mental Ill Patient. psychiatry, 14(4), pp.290-297.

Bibliography

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