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How to promote equality and diversity in care homes

Fonthill House, St Albans, Hertfordshire

Everyone has the right to the health care services they need, regardless of their situation. Promoting equality and diversity in care homes is vital in ensuring everyone is treated fairly and with respect. So, it is important that they consider what needs to be done to meet legislation and how else they can further support residents.

What is equality and diversity?

Although equality and diversity are closely related, they are defined quite differently.

Equality revolves around everyone having the same opportunities, despite their background, ability or lifestyle. In terms of equality in care homes, it centres around care providers ensuring residents feel equal and deserving of the same chances.

Diversity refers to the need to recognise unique differences in individuals, such as beliefs, values and cultures. This includes appreciating people’s differences and seeing them as a positive rather than something that excludes them.

Why is equality and diversity in care homes important?

Equality and diversity in care homes are incredibly important in ensuring the facilities comply with the requirements set by law, as well as meeting individual care needs. As care workers take responsibility for service users’ wellbeing, it is part of their role to provide each resident with the same level of care and respect.

How can you promote equality and diversity in care homes?

Being proactive in promoting equality and diversity is essential for care homes, and managers can deploy several strategies to ensure consistent and positive reinforcement of equality. 

This may include having the following initiatives: 

  • Developing a code of conduct policy that defines business values and employee expectations. 
  • Creating resources for employees to educate themselves on the fair treatment of residents, which can be referred to when needed.
  • Offering diversity training to provide further education on language choices and types of communication for employees. For example, conversations to avoid that may be culturally sensitive or uncomfortable for some residents. 
  • Getting to know residents to understand their backgrounds and cultural beliefs.

The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 was devised to collate anti-discrimination legislation and outlaw unfair treatment for the following reasons:

  • Sex
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sexual orientation
  • Marriage or civil partnership
  • Pregnancy or maternity
  • Gender assignment

 

So, under The Equality Act 2010, if someone is to be mistreated as a result of any of the above characteristics, they can take action through civil courts. 

In terms of care homes complying with these requirements, care workers would be unable to deny an applicant a room due to one of the protected characteristics. Likewise, caregivers cannot neglect or abuse a resident as a result of any of these features.

Code of conduct

One of the key steps in promoting equality and diversity in care homes is creating a code of conduct. A code of conduct establishes minimum expectations for your staff and ensures everyone is treated fairly and with dignity. 

As a general rule, the code of conduct should comply with the following core strategic principles:

  • Commitment to Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Values: care providers should promote equality and diversity through their core values, employee practices and mission statements.
  • Promoting Equality, Diversity and Human Rights in Decision-Making: care home managers should ensure equality is considered at a decision-making level.
  • Advancement of Equality, Diversity and Human Rights: remaining proactive in improving equality and diversity in business changes or developments. 
  • Monitoring Equality, Diversity and Human Rights: keep track of how the care home is performing in terms of equality and diversity to identify areas of improvement. 
  • Commitment to Equal Access and Open Standards: ensuring all services are accessible to everyone, regardless of background or circumstances.

Examples of inclusive practice in care homes

Promoting equality and diversity in care homes is very important to the wellbeing of residents and staff. At Fonthill Care, we pride ourselves on our commitment to offering inclusive, person-centred care. Here are some examples of how we stick to our inclusive approach at our care homes. 

  • Recognising individual needs: while this is  very obvious, it can often  be overlooked when working with groups of people with different abilities. Ensuring residents’ specific care needs are being met sufficiently is at the heart of what we do.
  • Offering personal care plans: these care plans are created with the assistance of GPs and other medical professionals to ensure every patient’s medical needs are being met. This may include current treatments, medicine and symptom relief, or other essential care guidance. Personalised care plans ensure every individual is provided with the care they need and are updated regularly as conditions change.
  • Embracing cultural diversity: within a care setting, residents from different cultural backgrounds spend a lot of time together. To allow them to feel comfortable and respected for their cultures, we organise various events to celebrate the diversity that gets everyone involved and feeling equally catered for. 

 

Establishing an equal and diverse work environment is crucial within care homes. Staff being trained on equality and residents being provided with tailored care plans that meet their personal preferences and cultural values are just a few of the ways care homes can ensure a fair and comfortable space for everyone.

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