A new report from the Care Quality Commission has identified a clear link between a provider’s quality of care and how well it treats its staff and residents in terms of human rights and equality.
Care homes which champion equality and human rights are more likely to be rated outstanding compared with others.
Seventy-five percent of hospices rated as outstanding had carried out work on equality for disabled people compared to only 55 percent of lower-rated hospices. Eighty-eight percent of hospices rated as outstanding had carried out some work around equality for people of different religions and beliefs compared to only 65 per cent of others. For the NHS, where black and minority ethnic staff experienced discrimination, there tended to be lower levels of patient satisfaction.
According to CQC, the report provides a compelling case that work on equality and human rights are not an expendable extra. Despite the financial challenges facing the sector, providers should have a relentless focus on equality and human rights. There are strong ethical, business, economic and legal arguments for providers to pay more, rather than less, attention to these two issues.
“Human rights principles of fairness, respect, equality, dignity and autonomy are at the heart of good care provision. There is a strong link between the quality of care provided, equality for staff and whether people who use services say their human rights are being upheld.”
The regulator hopes that the report will support care providers focus more on equality and human rights, learning from other providers who have already succeeded in this area.
“Many providers could learn from the best providers in using equality and human rights to improve the quality of care. This work involves promoting human rights and ensuring equity in access, experience and outcomes. Importantly, it means empowering people who use services, their families and friends – and staff working in services. Outstanding care providers build on strong person-centred care and inclusive leadership. Attention to equality and human rights at a service level is also needed to tackle specific quality improvement issues.”
The report concludes that none of the ‘success factors’ common amongst best providers require a large amount of resource. Their success was based on changing behaviours, in particular:
- Leadership committed to equality and human rights.
- Putting equality and human rights principles into action.
- Developing a culture of staff equality.
- Applying equality and human rights thinking to improvement issues.
- Putting people who use services at the centre.
- Using external help and demonstrating courage and curiosity.
You can access the full report here – Equally Outstanding – equality and human rights best practice resource