Discuss Discriminatory Practice Within Health and Social Care

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This assignment focuses on the potential impacts of discriminatory practices within health and social care on service users. The objective is to provide a description of these practices and their effects on individuals, while also evaluating three specific discriminatory practices and their resulting consequences. It is important to highlight that a violation of an individual’s rights occurs when their personal rights are not honored.

Recognizing and honoring individuals’ rights, including those related to religion and culture, is essential for health and social care professionals. For instance, if a person’s religious beliefs require them to pray at a specific time each day, it would be a violation of their rights to obstruct this practice. Disregarding these rights can have detrimental effects on individuals’ overall well-being, confidence, and self-esteem. Covert abuse of power takes place when a professional in the healthcare or social care field exploits their position to discriminate against someone.

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This can involve differential treatment towards individuals. Covert power abuse denotes the act of exploiting power in a manner that goes unnoticed, aiming to undermine anti-discrimination policies by employing hidden forms of discrimination. Reporting such discriminatory actions often involves challenges in presenting comprehensive evidence to substantiate the claims.

Overt abuse of power in the health and social care field occurs when a professional openly and blatantly abuses their authority. This is akin to covert abuse of power, with the distinction being that overt abuse involves open discrimination and misuse of power. If you observe such discriminatory behavior, it is generally easier to gather evidence as these professionals do not attempt to conceal it and are quite forthcoming. Prejudice refers to forming preconceived judgments or opinions.

Prejudice refers to the act of forming judgments about a particular individual or group based on negative opinions or past experiences. For instance, if you have had negative encounters with men in professional settings, leading you to pay more attention to women in such environments, it indicates prejudice. Similarly, as a paramedic, assuming that an 18-year-old female who collapsed after drinking alcohol cannot handle it without any knowledge of her specific circumstances or existing health conditions is also an example of prejudiced behavior.

Unacceptable and unprofessional behavior in the health and social care field includes stereotyping individuals or groups without any knowledge of them. Stereotyping involves making assumptions or holding negative opinions about someone or a particular group. For instance, seeing hooded youths on the street might lead one to automatically assume that they will cause trouble or engage in criminal activities. Such assumptions are often perpetuated by the media’s portrayal of certain age groups.

The act of having a negative attitude and preconceived notions about someone can be easily noticed by that person, through their body language. Labelling individuals is similar to stereotyping, as it involves classifying people based on their clothing or speech style. If you observe someone wearing clothes from a particular brand or speaking in a specific way, you might assign them the label “chav”. This labeling enables sorting people into distinct groups.

Bullying is a common issue that can have significant impacts on individuals. For example, if you witness someone using offensive language while joking with their friends and you don’t approve of this behavior, you might classify them as a bully. This perception can lead to adverse consequences for the person, including experiencing discriminatory treatment. Bullying occurs when someone abuses their power to intimidate another individual.

There are various forms of bullying, including written, physical, verbal, and cyber. Cyber bullying specifically takes place online, while physical bullying encompasses actions such as pushing, punching, or kicking. Verbal bullying involves name-calling and issuing threats. Bullying can have adverse effects on individuals like diminished self-confidence, problems with self-esteem, social isolation, and a range of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and eating disorders.

Discriminatory practices have a negative impact on service users, especially those with low self-esteem. Many individuals who lack confidence or self-worth often turn to services for support. However, encountering discrimination further diminishes their already fragile confidence and self-worth. This can result in mental health issues like depression, particularly when the discrimination comes from a healthcare or social care professional. Additionally, this behavior damages the relationship between the service user and professional, leading to a loss of trust. Consequently, the service user may refuse to disclose crucial information necessary for their recovery or care plan.

To help service users cope with the current situation, it is important for health and social care professionals to prioritize maintaining or boosting their self-esteem and confidence. Discrimination and bullying can lead to disempowerment, making individuals feel devalued and powerless. This sense of powerlessness can result in health issues and a tendency to accept mistreatment without questioning it.

Marginalisation refers to the feeling of not belonging to a particular social group, which can result from discrimination and being singled out. This can lead to individuals feeling isolated and excluded from society as well as from other service users. For instance, if someone is placed in private care due to lack of alternative options, they may perceive differential treatment compared to others.

Experiencing discrimination based on identity or location can lead individuals to feel that their opportunities are limited. Discrimination may be rooted in factors such as age, gender, religion, sexuality, or culture. For example, if a female student is denied the opportunity to join a football team solely because she is female while all other team members are male, it restricts her opportunities based on her gender. Discriminatory actions frequently result in negative behavior, aggression, and criminal activity.

One form of expressing anger is through targeting health and social care professionals, police or teachers. Unfortunately, this can have negative consequences on their treatment progress and overall well-being. These individuals may resort to physically or verbally attacking someone they once trusted, leading to a strained relationship and compromised trust boundaries. Additionally, bullying is another discriminatory practice that I am evaluating.

I have selected this issue because it is a widespread problem in society. Additionally, I have personally observed and encountered some of the effects it has on individuals. Sophie, a 15-year-old student at Highlands Secondary School, has resided in a residential children’s home since she was 11 years old. Despite her circumstances, Sophie has consistently achieved outstanding academic performance and obtained remarkable grades.

Despite having a close group of friends at school and socializing with them online, Sophie confided in her personal tutor about receiving multiple threats from one of her close friends. Although she didn’t want to draw attention or cause trouble, Sophie continued with her studies while enduring bullying and mocking from this friend. She faced physical assault in the corridors during breaks and verbal abuse during lessons.

Sophie’s experience of bullying led to her becoming socially isolated and withdrawn. She stopped engaging in sports and lost interest in interacting with others at the residential home. Whenever support workers attempted to communicate with her, she would angrily tell them to leave her alone as she preferred being on her own. This behavior clearly indicates her low self-esteem and self-identity as a direct consequence of bullying.

One aspect of discriminatory practice that I will evaluate is the limitation of opportunities. Chloe, a care assistant at Cherry Tree Lodge residential home, has been employed there for the last three months. Despite her limited training and only possessing basic GCSE’s in Maths and English, Chloe is dedicated to her job and feels self-assured in her role as a care assistant.

Her manager has requested her to plan a trip to the nearby church for the purpose of engaging service users with the community and introducing them to local churchgoers. She consults the service users about their interest in attending and receives a favorable response. However, she neglects to ask Mr Mambo, presumably due to his African heritage and knowledge that he belongs to a different religious denomination and does not practice Catholicism. Consequently, she assumes he would decline the invitation on these grounds.

This is discrimination and limits his opportunities as Chloe has not invited him. If you take into account his religion, you should also think about his human rights and inquire if he would like to visit the church along with the other service users. The last discriminatory practice I will evaluate is abuse. Betty, who is 71 years old, resides at Cherry Tree Lodge residential home.

Betty has been residing here for 7 years due to her husband’s passing and her dementia. With no one else to take care of her, she has formed friendships with both the service users and the supportive staff. The staff members make it a priority to meet Betty’s needs and ensure her happiness. Recently, Betty has noticed a new care assistant named Laura. Betty politely requests assistance from Laura to use the restroom, but Laura kindly replies that she will help after she finishes her break.

Betty is unhappy with the situation but because of her limited mobility, she must wait for Laura to finish her break since all the other staff members are assisting other service users. Unfortunately, Laura takes an additional 20 minutes for her break, causing Betty to struggle to use the toilet independently. As a result, Betty falls and injures her hip. While Betty eventually recovers fully, she now finds it difficult to trust the staff at Cherry Tree Lodge whom she once had a strong rapport with.

In a professional health and social care setting, it is unacceptable to see discriminatory practices that lead to loss of trust and confidence in the staff. This individual now avoids unnecessary interactions with the staff, preferring to handle tasks independently rather than ask for help. The previous incident has shattered their trust in the staff’s willingness to assist when needed. This situation highlights the need for a more inclusive and supportive environment.

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Discuss Discriminatory Practice Within Health and Social Care. (2018, Feb 01). Retrieved from


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