Understanding the Impact and Legislation Surrounding Equality and Diversity in Healthcare Services


Equality and diversity are the two crucial aspects of healthcare. Healthcare providers must underpin the concept of equality and diversity into practice to ensure that the services that are delivered are fair, justified and accessible to every service user. This study will first discuss the three negative and three positive aspects associated with equality and diversity in the care service with a brief description of how these negative and positive aspects impact service users. Then this study will discuss the legislation in the care setting in relation to attaining equality and diversity in the given case study and aloe describes the limitations of these legislations.

1. Three negative terms that are related to equality and diversity within the health and social care practice:

Three major negative aspects that are associated with maintaining equality and diversity in health and social care are as follows:

Communication barriers:

While underpinning the equality and diversity in health and social care, the communication barrier is the major problem that service providers generally face (Elias and Paradies, 2021). Service providers from diverse cultural groups face difficulties in understanding the meaning of different jargon and words that are used by the seniors and colleagues which make it difficult for the health team to work collaboratively and synergistically on the common health and social care goals.


Opinion mismatches and disagreement

During upholding the values of equality and diversity in the care setting, there are high chances of developing opinion mismatches and disagreement regarding any care related topic among the healthcare providers (Goode and Landefeld, 2018). This is because, diversity in healthcare allows healthcare professionals of diverse cultures, background perspectives, work processes and beliefs to work together which may create a high level of disagreement and opinion mismatched among them.

Unhealthy competition:

While healthcare providers of diverse cultures work on a common healthcare project, there is a high risk of developing unhealthy competition among them. As mentioned by Hammond et al. (2017), diverse team members in a healthcare team prioritise their way of working and personal goals for obtaining better work positions which crated unhealthy competition among them.

2. Three positive terms that are related to equality and diversity within the health and social care practice:

Creativity and innovation in the workplace:

Diversity and equality in health and social care settings enable the healthcare professionals to be involved in a shared decision-making process in which their thoughts, experiences and skills are shared to develop innovative ideas and strategies (Jozwiak, 2019).

Improved resilience of team members:

Through upholding the concept of equality and diversity in the workplace, healthcare providers are unable to work with diverse healthcare teams which improve their resilience skills (Kalaitzi et al. 2019). Resilience skills in health and social care can be considered as the most crucial aspects which enables healthcare providers to adapt themselves in any healthcare environment thereby putting their best effort to meet client’s health needs.

Improved individual and team productivity:

Equality and diversity in healthcare enable healthcare providers to work with different team members thereby getting the opportunities to improve their knowledge and skill by involving in shared decision making with colleagues (Kalaitzi et al. 2019).

Impacts of these negative and positives terms impact on services users:

The aforementioned negative terms that are related to workplaces equality and diversity in the healthcare setting pose potential impacts on services users. Communication barriers among healthcare providers interfere with their ability to provide quality healthcare services to the services users (mcglynn et al. 2020). The poor communication among team members in the healthcare team makes it difficult for the healthcare professional to maintain a transparent information delivery system regarding the current health status of the patient. The opinion mismatches and conflict and the unhealthy competition of healthcare staff make the client receives arrogant a harsh behaviour from healthcare staff (Kalaitzi et al. 2019).

The above-mentioned positive aspects such as resilience, creatives and innovative workplace and increased team productivity improve the healthcare outcomes for service users, these positive terms are associated with improving the quality of care delivery to service users by implementing modern and highly relevant healthcare techniques and high standard treatment process which ca promote the holistic wellbeing of service users.

In maintaining equality and diversity in healthcare, legislation plays an important role. Healthcare professionals must ensure that they must comply with all the health and social care legislation for underpinning equality and diversity in their practices (Mehta, 2017). There are different important legislations that are associated with maintaining equality and diversity in the workplace such as Equality act 2010, human rights act 1998, sex discrimination act 1975, the disability discrimination act 1995 and the Race relation act 1976 (Neville, 2018). In the given case study, Anthony must be treated fairly and equally by implementing all this legislation into the care setting to ensure that his legal rights are respects in the healthcare context.

Under the Equality Act 2010, each service provider must be treated fairly and equally irrespective of their caste, race, religion, sexuality, ethnicity a cultural difference (Pearce, 2017). In the case study, Anthony must receive proper care and respect from the service providers at the day centre as well as from his parents Under this Equality act 2010. Under this act, Anthony must be protected from any kind of discrimination and bullying regarding his sexuality. As mentioned by Nyholm et al. (2018), Equality Act 2010 is developed by the UK government to support people in preserving their rights and accessibility. Under this act, Anthony’s father can not show any rude behaviour and disrespect to Anthony due to the fact that he is homosexual. Under this act, it is mentioned that sexuality is people’s persona choice which would not be considered while providing care and support to the person. As mentioned by Stewart and O'Reilly (2017), while working with people which are homosexual, health and social care workers must provide enough support to these people to protect them from any kind of harassment and bully in society or the family environment. Under the Equality Act 2010, care workers are obliged to provide the best possible support to provide proper safeguarding to Anthony for ensuring that he is protected from any kind of abuse, bullying and mental or physical torture.

Under the Equality Act (sexual orientation) regulation 2007, people have full freedom to choose homosexuality and in that case, any kind of harassment, or abuse or bully to Anthony would be considered as a legal breach of this act (Wigmore et al. 2021). Under this act, society people, care providers and family members of Anthony must not interfere with his freedom and legal rights regarding his sexuality. Under this act, Anthony must be treated with proper respect and dignity in every place including his home without any risk of the bully. As mentioned by White Hughto et al. (2017) if care workers do not take legal action after complainant against the bullying to the vulnerable people regarding the sexuality than, the vulnerable adults must inform the local statutory and vulnerably social care organisations and the human rights commission. Under this act, Anthony must be guided and supported in terms of getting accessibility to a fair opportunity in every aspect such as employment, healthcare and social care and living a healthy life.

Under Human Right Act 1998, article 3, every people have the rights to get freedom from torture, bully degrading treatment. Under this act, Anthony’s care worker must ensure that he would be free from any kind of bully and abuse regarding his sexuality (Pearce, 2017). In addition to this Under article 14, Anthony is entitled to get full protection from any kind of discrimination in respecting as well as preserving his rights. In this context, Anthony must be treated with proper respect and dignity in the care home, society and his house. As argued by Nyholm et al. (2018), Under Human rights legislation, care workers sometimes although ensure the fair and justified treatment to vulnerable people, neglect to provide emotional and mental support to the vulnerable people which is needed for improving the quality of lives of the vulnerable people. On supporting this view many authors mentioned that, although preserving the rights and dignity of homosexual people, sometimes care provides show arrogant attitude and harsh behaviour to the services users which can also be considered as abuse and neglect to them (Stewart and O'Reilly, 2017). In Anthony's case, he received unsupportiveness from the care workers who interfere with his self-respect and dignity by showing negligence to Anthony's request for managing the situation for him by protecting him from the bully.

There are some limitations that are associated with legislation that health and social care providers must consider while implementing diversity and equality into practice (Wigmore et al. 2021). Equality act 2010, although is highly supportive of Anthony's case to enable him to get proper freedom from any kind of harassment and abuse regarding his sexuality, it poses ethical dilemmas on care workers in many aspects of equality and diversity. For health and social workers, not all times they are able to promote equal care to all service users, the reason behind this is the various social care needs of service users (White Hughto et al. 2017). In the case of working with vulnerable people, social care workers need to take more care and provides more attention to the health and wellbeing of service users who have the deteriorating condition than less vulnerable service users. This act of care providers have sometimes considered are a breach of equality and fair treatment. In the case of Anthony, the care workers must ensure that they receive fair and equal treatment from the heartcare staff. The limitations of the Human Rights Act 1998 is that it is not applicable in preserving the right of service users to the confidentiality of their health report while it comes to the safety and wellbeing of the entire human community (Goode and Landefeld, 2018). In case of contagious diseases, which can be spread through contact, social and healthcare workers must reveal the health condition of the patients to ensure that people surrounding the patient will be safe from the disease, this act can interfere with the principles of the human right legislation. In case of Anthony, health and social care providers must ensure that all the rights of Anthony to accessing the health and social care facilities will be respected.

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From the above-mentioned discussion, it can be concluded that equality and diversity are important for healthcare practices to ensure that each service user is treated with dignity and respect. Equality and diversity enable health care providers to ensure that their clients are served fairly. In this context, the healthcare professional must comply with all the legislation that is associated with providing fair treatment to service users to promote equality diversity in the workplace.

Reference list:

Elias, A. and Paradies, Y., 2021. The costs of institutional racism and its ethical implications for healthcare. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 18(1), pp.45-58.

Goode, C.A. and Landefeld, T., 2018. The Lack of Diversity in Healthcare. Journal of Best Practices in Health Professions Diversity, 11(2), pp.73-95.

Hammond, J., Marshall-Lucette, S., Davies, N., Ross, F. and Harris, R., 2017. Spotlight on equality of employment opportunities: a qualitative study of job seeking experiences of graduating nurses and physiotherapists from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. International journal of nursing studies, 74, pp.172-180.

Jozwiak, G., 2019. managing equality and diversity, part 5: race and ethnicity On identity. Nursery World, 2019(10), pp.34-35.

Kalaitzi, S., Cheung, K.L., Hiligsmann, M., Babich, S. and Czabanowska, K., 2019. Exploring Women Healthcare Leaders' Perceptions on Barriers to Leadership in Greek Context. Frontiers in public health, 7, p.68.

Kalaitzi, S., Czabanowska, K., Azzopardi-Muscat, N., Cuschieri, L., Petelos, E., Papadakaki, M. and Babich, S., 2019. Women, healthcare leadership and societal culture: a qualitative study. Journal of healthcare leadership, 11, p.43.

McGlynn, N., Browne, K., Sherriff, N., Zeeman, L., Mirandola, M., Gios, L., Davis, R., Donisi, V., Farinella, F., Rosińska, M. and Niedźwiedzka-Stadnik, M., 2020. Healthcare professionals’ assumptions as barriers to LGBTI healthcare. Culture, health & sexuality, 22(8), pp.954-970.

Mehta, S., 2017. Making the healthcare needs of LGBT patients a priority. Primary Health Care, 27(4).

Neville, P., 2018. Exploring the ethnic diversity of UK dentistry. MedEdPublish, 7.

Nyholm, N., Halvorsen, I., Mygind, A., Christensen, U. and Kristiansen, M., 2018. Diversity in cancer care: exploring social categories in encounters between healthcare professionals and breast cancer patients. Scandinavian journal of caring sciences, 32(3), pp.1108-1117.

Pearce, L., 2017. Race equality in the NHS: a plan for progress. Nursing Standard (2014+), 31(42), p.22.

Stewart, K. and O'Reilly, P., 2017. Exploring the attitudes, knowledge and beliefs of nurses and midwives of the healthcare needs of the LGBTQ population: an integrative review. Nurse Education Today, 53, pp.67-77.

White Hughto, J.M., Rose, A.J., Pachankis, J.E. and Reisner, S.L., 2017. Barriers to gender transition-related healthcare: Identifying underserved transgender adults in Massachusetts. Transgender Health, 2(1), pp.107-118.

Wigmore, S.J., Kokudo, N. and Smith, M.J., 2021. Equality, diversity and inclusion in HPB surgery. HPB.

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