Equality, diversity, dignity & respect (non-discrimination policy)

Practice Leads

  • Doctors: Ramesh Mehay & Ashraf Khan
  • Nurses: Zoe Booth
  • Admin: Chris Rushton & Pam Brown

Date Reviewed

6th July 2016

Date of Next Review

September 2017

Why is this important

Human rights are the basic rights and principles that belong to every person in the world. Human Rights are based on the FREDA principles: Fairness, Respect, Equality, Dignity and Autonomy’ (EHRC).    Human rights protect an individual’s freedom to control their day-to-day life, and effectively participate in all aspects of public life in a fair and equal way.  We believe that all individuals should be treated in line with the FREDA principles.  These are basic fundamental human rights and it is morally unacceptable and damaging to treat people unfairly, without dignity or without respect.  Individuals are different in so many ways and this diversity should be celebrated because we can learn and create new and wonderful experiences with one another if we have the right attitude.  Promoting equality, dignity and respect results in...

  • people being treated fairly
  • good morale amongst workers  (means higher motivation through being valued)
  • this leads to better performance (people work better, they go the extra mile)
  • this also leads to a more stable workforce (less resignations or absences)
  • a good reputation for the organisation as a whole

We live in an increasingly diverse society (around gender, race and ethnicity, disability, religion, sexuality, class and age)  and need to be able to respond appropriately and sensitively to this diversity. Promoting equality, dignity and respect is the key to not only a productive workforce but productive collaborative relationships in general.

Some Definitions

Equality is about ‘creating a fairer society, where everyone can participate and has the opportunity to fulfil their potential’ (DoH, 2004). By eliminating prejudice and discrimination, the NHS can deliver services that are personal, fair and diverse and a society that is healthier and happier.  An equalities approach understands that who we are, based on social categories such as gender, race, disability, age, social class, sexuality and religion – will impact on our life experiences.

Diversity literally means difference. When it is used as a contrast or addition to equality, it is about recognising individual as well as group differences, treating people as individuals, and placing positive value on diversity in the community and in the workforce.   One way in which organisations have responded to the issue of diversity in recent years has been the development of flexibility in working practices and services. For example, an employer may allow an employee to work a flexible working pattern to accommodate child care arrangements, or a GP surgery may offer surgeries at the weekends to accommodate those who work full time during the week.  These approaches recognise that in order to provide accessible services and to ensure we promote inclusive working environments organisations may need to respond differently to both individuals and to group

Discrimination is less favourable treatment based on someone’s protected characteristic (see next section below). A protected characteristic is an individual strand of diversity as covered under the Equality Act. The Equality Act covers 9 protected characteristics.  Discrimination and exclusion can be multi-layered and occur because of:

  • an aspect of individuality, e.g. some aspect of personal appearance, size, personal likes, etc.;
  • our social situation, e.g. being an ex-offender, being homelessness, being a lone parent, misuse of drugs or alcohol, citizen status or health.
  • our protected characteristic i.e. being refused a job because of our sexual orientation or limited access to health care because we are disabled.

Dignity is a state or quality of being worthy of honour or respect. How do you know when you are being treated with dignity?  With dignity you are in control, feel valued, have confidence, are able to make decisions and are comfortable. In general, you are able to prosper.   Without dignity, you feel devalued, lack confidence, lose control, feel embarrassed, ashamed, humiliated and as a result you don't do very well.   In general, you start to spiral downwards!

Patient Dignity & Respect

The Practice’s Dignity and Respect Policy is based on the principles of excellent staff management and ethical behaviour which underpins the practice’s values in providing patients with an environment centred upon self-respect, tolerance and support.  This policy also helps Ashcroft Surgery to be reactive with regard to situations that could compromise a patient’s dignity.   The policy aims to give support to all persons connected with a suspected breach of the practice’s rules (this includes the complainant and the respondent).   Complaints will  of course will follow the usual practice complaints procedure.  All staff members have a personal and legal responsibility to comply with this policy on practice premises or in other locations relating to Ashcroft Surgery.

Further Notes