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Week 6 Anti-Discrimination and ‘Anti-Oppressive Practice’ In Health & Social Care
Over the past weeks, we have been exploring:
The idea of EQUALITY
The idea of DIVERSITY
The idea of HUMAN RIGHTS
We have considered these ideas as they are applied in the health & social care professions.
Brief reflection: Take 5 minutes to write a sentence defining each idea above, as you understand it. Then, take 5 minutes to compare answers with the person next to you. Are they similar? Are they different? Take note.
We have noted that each idea – equality, diversity, human rights – is contested at the level of theory.
However, each idea is central to UK legislation & policy regulating professional practice in health & social care
So how are these ideas deployed in legislation & policy? We have begun to look at The Equality Act, UK (2010) & The Human Rights Act, UK (1998).
We shall critically investigate law & policy further.
What factors might incite discrimination or discriminatory behaviours?
Culture,
Race,
Disabilities,
Cognitive ability,
Social class,
Age,
Gender,
Sexuality,
Health status,
Family status & structure (e.g. lone parents, same sex couples)
NON-DISCRIMINATION IN HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE
What forms can discrimination take?
The infringement of (legal and/or moral) rights
Bullying
Various types of abuse
Covert or overt abuse of power
Prejudice
Stereotyping
labelling
What effects can discrimination have?
Loss of rights
Disempowerment
Lowering of self-esteem & self-confidence
Physical and/or psychological harm
Restricted opportunities
Unemployment
Negative behaviors (e.g. violence)
NON-DISCRIMINATION PRACTICES
In the UK there have been efforts since (at least) the 1970’s to develop national initiatives to prevent discrimination in health & social care
I.e. Codes of practice; Policies & procedures; Quality assurance; Legislation & regulations
How are these implemented?
Identifying & promoting certain values of care;
Having workplace policies;
staff training & mentoring
CONVENTIONS, LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS
List of relevant conventions, laws & regulations:
Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Mental Health Act 1983
Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986,
The Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989, the Children Act 2004,
Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000,
Disability Discrimination Act 1995,
Human Rights Act 1998,
Data Protection Act 1998,
Nursing and Residential Care Homes Regulations 1984(amended 2002),
Care Standards Act 2000,
The Children Act 2004,
Disability Discrimination Act 2005,
Mental Capacity Act 2005,
Age Discrimination Act 2006,
Equality Act 2010
ALSO…
Codes of practice and charters: codes of conduct established by professional bodies
Quality assurance: e.g. care Quality Commission
Organisational policies and procedures: Policies (e.g. equal opportunities, bullying, harassment, confidentiality, health and safety); Procedures (e.g. work practices, positive promotion of individual rights, advocacy; staff recruitment, development and training; complaints procedures)
WHAT HAPPENS IN PRACTICE?
How can anti-discriminatory practice actually be promoted in health and social care settings?
–    Apply ethical principles (which ones? Discuss); put the people who use services at the heart of service provision by providing support consistent with the beliefs, values, culture and preferences of the individual; support individuals to express their needs and preferences, empower individuals, promote individuals’ rights, choices and wellbeing whilst identifying and challenging discrimination. Balance individual rights with rights of others and deal with conflict
‘ANTI-OPPRESSIVE PRACTICE’ (AOP)
AOP is used in health & social care settings with the aim of reducing discrimination, racism & oppression    (What is oppression? Discuss briefly)
It’s interdisciplinary, but its roots are in Social Work (e.g. see Mullaly, Bob; Mullaly, Robert (2010). Challenging Oppression and Confronting Privilege: a critical social work approach. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press).
Practitioners must critically examine power imbalances re: socio-cultural/political context,
& aim to develop strategies to create an egalitarian environment.
They must try to deliver services in an inclusive manner.
THE AOP MODEL
Group work task:
Individually, read about the ‘anti-oppressive model’ (see web link in weblearn) (20 minutes).
In groups of 3-4, critically discuss how this model can be applied to the case-study (see case study in weblearn) (20 minutes)
Each group to feed back to whole class (20 minutes)

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