Are you promoting equality, diversity and inclusion as a healthcare professional?
Have you recently experienced a form of discrimination in the workplace, know a colleague who has, or witnessed something you want to challenge? We know it can often feel like you don’t know where to start and may need some guidance on how to make your workplace a better place for everyone, so keep reading to get a few pointers on where to start.
Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are key components of healthcare practices to ensure that everyone gets access to fair treatment. It also leads to improved mental health and better staff/patient experiences. As a healthcare professional, it’s important that these components are at the heart of what you do.
This is key to ensuring that you understand what EDI means, know how to raise awareness about it, learn about the issues surrounding it and get practical guidance on the appropriate approaches you should take to avoid indirectly discriminating against patients/colleagues.
Promoting EDI within your practice is mainly concerned with avoiding discrimination towards your patients. The Equality Act 2010 says indirect discrimination may happen on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or beliefs, sex and sexual orientation. For example, don’t assume someone’s age based on something like poor memory or hearing. Everyone is entitled to equal care no matter their background so if you do witness any form of discrimination make sure to raise it to a senior member of staff.
Ensure any visual or textual infographics/communications around your practice are free of any discriminatory or stereotypical content and all sensitive documents are reviewed by your colleagues. If you see messaging that is wrong, make some suggestions to the trust on how it can be adapted.
Create a culture of fairness within your team
To promote EDI across your whole healthcare setting, everyone in your team must have full understanding of the principles of it. Encourage your colleagues to engage in EDI training and read your organisations’ equality and diversity policy. If you see messaging that is wrong, make some suggestions to the trust on how it can be adapted.
Keep these factors in mind day-to-day to ensure each patient/colleague is treated equally, given the respect that they deserve and their differences are celebrated.