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Certain groups in society still experience prejudice and discrimination. How does this affect the experience and delivery of care? In what ways have predjudice and discrimination been challenged in care settings?

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Certain groups in society still experience prejudice and discrimination. How does this affect the experience and delivery of care? In what ways have prejudice and discrimination been challenged in care settings? I will begin with describing what prejudice and discrimination are and then show how accessing and receiving care is influenced by cultural assumptions. Using some case studies I will discuss the affects on sense of identity and self worth. I then plan to look at how to minimize prejudice and how to assist in equal access to services and fair and proper treatment within them. Prejudice is defined in the dictionary as 'an unreasonable or unfair dislike or preference' (Collins, 2000 p680). Discrimination is defined as 'unfair treatment of a person, racial group, or minority' (Collins, 2000 p236). Prejudices are based on stereo-types - an image you have of someone based on the category you think they fit into for example someone may believe that an individual in a wheelchair must be somehow slow, stupid or at least unable to communicate fully. ...read more.


Robina Shars writing also attacks how past discrimination has lead to many not approaching the health provision as they feel that they are going to be judged before they begin. "They may not want to be accused of being a burden to the state and taking more than their share" (Shar (1992) quoted in the reader, P187). Another example of this is the traveling culture case study (Audio 3, section 1). The school teacher expected the accommodation to be dirty, the midwife expected the family to have difficulties with bringing up a baby and the health visitor thought that they would have nothing and was surprised at how well they coped in 'small accommodation'. It is not hard to see why they may be apprehensive about contacting social and health services. Although people avoid using and receiving labels we do have a need to belong. So where some one may take offence to be called an 'African person', they may well appreciate it being recognized that they are a person of African origin and subsequently having their cultural and ethnical differences respected. ...read more.


There have been Acts introduced in order to tackle discrimination for example Disabilities Discrimination Act (1995), Sex Discrimination Act (1986) and Race Relations Act (1976) and sadly the majority of companies are now increasingly careful not to discriminate in order to avoid prosecution and compensation claims rather than to ensure a fair service. These acts and following company policies and procedures are also relevant to employers and their employees. I think this is important as it ensures that fair mixes of people are service providers. It allows people from different backgrounds to mix with each other and hopefully become more understanding of their differences. This mix of service providers should also make available relevant contacts where they are necessary. In conclusion, education and awareness of discrimination and different cultures, backgrounds and up-bringing goes along way to reducing prejudice and discrimination and the law, or rather fear of the law, supports what we as a human race should be striving to succeed, a fair and inclusive society. Names have been changed in line with the Caldicott protocol. ...read more.

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