Fair access to care services (FACS): prioritising eligibility for care and support
Review - Rights, discrimination and equality
Equality should be integral to the way in which social care is prioritised and delivered, allowing people to enjoy quality of life and to be treated with dignity and respect.(‘Response to the first contact and assessment’, DH, 2010, para 91)
Preethi’s story, part 3
A Bangladeshi worker supports Preethi to help her father find an agency that is culturally sensitive to the family’s needs. Adults’ services have been working with the local mosque and the Carers’ Centre to improve support for individuals with dementia and their carers from the Muslim community. The care manager is able to suggest Preethi’s father talk to the community leaders at his mosque about the proposed care agency.
Equality and human rights form an important theme running through the 2010 DH Guidance ‘Prioritising need’, specifically paragraphs 90 and 91. In ensuring equality and human rights are addressed, staff should:
- work within the organisation’s policies and procedures for actively promoting equality and challenging discrimination
- bear in mind the six protected characteristics within the Equality Act 2010; and the importance, in assessment and priority-setting for care and support, of tackling discrimination, or less favourable treatment, on grounds of disability, age, race, religion, sexual orientation and gender
- recognise that many of the people seeking care and support, and their carers, are at risk of discrimination on the grounds of more than one characteristic – some, such as older disabled black women, fall into several categories and may experience compound discrimination
- be aware of the need to challenge ‘associative discrimination’ – for example, that carers may be protected under the Equalities Act from discrimination arising from their association with a disabled person (or indeed anyone in the protected categories)
- apply a human rights and equal opportunities approach, ensuring no groups are excluded from assessment on the basis of diagnosis alone
- take into account the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled People, to which the UK is a signatory, particularly Article 19 on the right to independent living
- work with individuals to identify their religious and cultural needs, and locate appropriate support
- contribute to the identification, development and maintenance of community-based resources to meet diverse needs
- identify barriers to social inclusion experienced by individuals, carers and families, and take action to address them.