Essay on Diversity and Discrimination

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In the health and social care sector equality is where everyone has equal access to the different services they may need and that meet their personal needs are met. This should not be affected by other factors such as where they live or how they live. Having equality in the health and social care sector means that people are more likely to have higher self-esteem and be happier whilst using the service. Therefore, they are more likely to have a better outcome and use the service again. 'The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society.' This act means that people are protected from any harmful or unfair treatment because of their beliefs, race, culture, or any other protected characteristics.6 Also, the Human Rights Act allows you to defend your rights and it means that everyone is treated fairly and with dignity and respect. If equality is not present the service user may feel unworthy, judged, and not good enough for their care so they will end up not wanting to be treated or helped in that environment. This would lead to their condition getting worse and having to have more treatments in the future. When care staff are working with service users, they must have good communication skills so that they know what different people's needs and requirements are. They must also be understanding of different people's cultures and not be judgemental of their lifestyle, so the service user feels comfortable whilst using the service. An example of equality is if there is a service user who is religious and therefore only eats certain foods, they will need to be provided with meals that are in line with their religion that they can choose from.


Diversity means a variety or range of differences. To value diversity you need to value the culture and beliefs of other people. If you do not value diversity and dismiss other people's cultures and beliefs, then you are unable to learn about them and the different ways that people live. If you do this, then it will then be harder to help people when they come to the service as your knowledge of different areas will be limited. To respect diversity health and social care workers need to have competence so that they have the ability to understand a person's needs with the help of their experience and knowledge so that they can deliver the best care.


Discrimination is when someone has an unreasonable and unjustified feeling against a single person or a group culture. There are multiple reasons why discrimination occurs such as:

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There are four types of discrimination:

    • Unfair discrimination
        • This is when someone is treated unfairly compared to someone else.
        • Example: not providing the same quality of care to a patient because they are different from others.
    • Direct discrimination
        • This is when someone is rude, judgemental, offensive, or hostile against someone because they see them as different from themselves.
        • Example: Being rude and dismissing a patient because they have a different religion.
    • Indirect discrimination
        • This is when there are rules, policies, and procedures that are set out for everyone to follow. However, these will have a worse effect on some people compared to others.
        • Example: Only providing food with meat in and not having any vegetarian or vegan dishes to give to patients.
    • Positive discrimination
        • This is where decisions are made which favor certain individuals because of a favorable characteristic.
        • Example: giving someone their preferred treatment because of a protected characteristic rather than because it is best suited to them.

There are several effects that can happen to a person if they are discriminated against. For example, they may develop depression and anxiety because they feel like they have done something wrong or there is something wrong with them because the actions of others are reinforcing these thoughts. Also, this may then lead to having a reluctance to seek support and treatment because they feel that everyone will have the same manner as those discriminating against them. Care workers need to be able to communicate well with others and build up trust so that if they believe discrimination is taking place, they can report it and intervene if it is having a negative effect on someone. Services can also promote anti-discrimination by having environments that everyone is able to access (e.g. ramps and lifts), using resources that have different formatting and multiple languages so that a variety of people can interact with them. The use of an advocate can also help so that there is someone there to help them and speak on their behalf. Supporting a patient is also important so that they receive the correct help to enhance their time at the service and get the best possible care that can be provided to them.

Valerie B. aged 24 years

When Valerie is using the health and social care sector, the service provider will need to understand her needs and beliefs so that they can accommodate these. Valerie is a Vegetarian which means she could face indirect discrimination, because the service only provides meals with meat or unfair discrimination, because a service worker may not believe that people should become vegetarians and they may not provide her with the correct meals. To prevent this, when she is in the hospital recovering from her surgery the service provider will need to be able to offer an option that she is able to eat. Her carers will need to be caring and competent so that they can show an understanding of her needs as a vegetarian and make sure that she is given the correct food without having to ask Valerie lots of questions about the food she can and cannot eat. If they do not have Valerie also has a hearing impairment. This means that she may struggle to communicate with others easily. When using the service, they should provide information in a clear and easy way for her to understand. It is important that Valerie gets a choice on how information is given to her, and that the necessary adaptions needed are made for her because of her hearing impairment. This may include having information written down and speaking clearly, slowly, and distinctly to her. If this is not done for her she may feel discriminated against and this will make her feel that she is being left out from discussions about her care. Professionals could also help her by referring her to a hearing specialist where she can be tested and treated so that she can find it easier to hear and communicate again. This will promote equality because they are providing her with the extra equipment she needs so she is on an equal playing field with everyone else. Being obese is causing Valerie to have a lowered self-esteem. Due to Valarie being unemployed and receiving universal benefits, she may feel that she does not deserve to receive high-quality care. This could have come from the discrimination she will have received from the bullying. This will make her less trusting and comfortable in the environment. Staff should not judge her because of this and they need to provide the same level of care they would to anyone else. They need to make sure that she understands that she is valued and that her care is important. Doing this will make Valarie feel that she is able to use health services again and get help when she needs it instead of thinking she will be discriminated against and not treated to the same standard as others.

Tremayne M. aged 54 years

Tremayne has autism which he may have been directly or unfairly discriminated against in the past because of his differences. This will have made him feel not valued and he should be ashamed of his differences because they are not the same as other people. The service provider and staff need to make sure they do not do this so that he feels comfortable and able to speak and get support for things that are challenging for him. Tremayne's autism may mean that he struggles to form relationships so does not have close family or friends there to help him when discussing care treatment and plans. The service can then provide him with an advocate for this so that his thoughts and ideas can be said and discussed with people if he struggles to do it himself. The advocate needs to be empathetic, have compassion, and have good communication skills so that they can build a relationship with Tremayne. His disability may mean that he struggles to understand information easily if it is not said in a clear way for him. The service will need to provide Tremayne with different ways so that he can remember information given to him and questions he may have for them. This may include being able to write down the information, being given leaflets with all the information already on, or having an advocate. If none of this is provided for him then he won't be able to easily input his thoughts and ideas about his care so he won't get what is best for him. This could also cause him to be stressed because he does not know what is happening and therefore could cause him to have an outburst and become angry. Furthermore, Tremayne has a wheat allergy so the community hospital will need to provide food that he is able to eat so that he does not become more ill from this. Staff need to have updated training and information about different allergens and how to make sure that people who have an allergy are protected from being given foods with the allergen in them. Furthermore, when Tremayne has outbursts and is disruptive professionals need to not judge and stop giving him care because they do not like his actions. They need to always give him the best care they can do and treat him equally, fairly, and not discriminate against him.

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Essay on Diversity and Discrimination. (2023, December 13). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from
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