Equitable Healthcare: Legislation, Ethics, and Care Standards Assessment

Explore the Interplay of Legislation, Ethical Theories, and Care Values in Healthcare

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Introduction Of Equitable Healthcare: Legislation, Ethics, and Care Standards Assessment

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The aim of this assessment is to focus on different diversity factors related to the needs of service users, and a range of theories associated with the delivery of ethical healthcare services to the service users. Additionally, in this assessment focus will be given to the evaluation of different legislation and policies with which equality can be managed while offering health care to the service users. And lastly, this assessment will include a description and discussion about the importance of care values and standards that can underpin good practice in the healthcare sector.


Task 1 Diversity factors related to service user needs

According to Graham and Moye, (2023), the diversity factor can be defined as the ratio of the sum of an individual's demand towards subdivisions of the services or systems to the maximum demand rate of the whole system under certain conditions. In health and social care services, the diversity factors indicate the following:

  • Religious
  • Races
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Culture
  • Physical abilities

The importance of diversity in health and social care service is to involve and include people from different identities and backdrops within service facilities. A diverse organisation can be defined as that which can recognise that people with different beliefs, backgrounds, attitudes and mindsets can bring a new perception to the group (Goode and Landefeld, 2018). In the health and social care sector, diversity factors can help the healthcare staff to maintain assorted and this in turn can ensure that no matter "who walks through the door, there will be someone or some staff who can identify the specific needs of the patient, communicate with them and provide better service according to their requirements" (Nair and Adetayo, 2019).

According to Nair and Adetayo, (2019), diversity factors play an important role to address the needs of the individual in health and social care. For example, to provide equal access and quality of care services, healthcare providers should tailor the approach to meet the needs of a diverse patient population.

For example, Cultural diversity is related to the ethnicity and set of norms of the people. People from different cultural backgrounds must perceive different insights about health, illness and treatment processes. Ignoring the cultural diversity of the patient population can cause misled healthcare service and outcomes, miscommunication and misunderstandings along with mistrust between service users and providers. On the other hand, race refers to the social backdrop from which a patient belongs. For example, race diversity defines whether the patient is Caucasian, Latino, Asian or African. Religious diversity refers to the religious belief of the service users, whereas age and gender diversity define the age and sexual orientation of the service users. According to the Equality Act, of 2010, healthcare providers should protect those who are receiving care from unfair treatment and discrimination based on age, sex or cultural beliefs while receiving care support from caregivers (Maidment et al., 2022). Additionally, in comparison to the Equality Act, of 2010, the Care Act, of 2014 provides legislative support to every individual within the age of 18 years or more and irrespective of race, ethnicity, or disability regrading acquiring healthcare support from healthcare providers. This act also states that councils should involve service providers in assessment in planning and checking your care plan and support. Besides these two pieces of legislation, Mental Health Act 2007 (amended from 1983) provides support to people from discrimination against disabilities (Maidment et al., 2022). This act states that healthcare professionals are bound to provide treatment and care services to people with any physical and mental disorders in the interest of their health and safety and for public safety. These are how the diverse factors and legislations provide support to the needs of service users.

Task 2 Theories associated with ethical service provision and care delivery

Theories for Ethical Service in the healthcare sector:

There are several ethical theories exist and can be applied in different situations to provide support to the care service provision and decision-making process. An In-depth, understanding of the key ethical theories can enable the practitioners to use the knowledge of rationalism, defend and recommend when it comes to providing care and support rightfully.


This theory of ethics refers that the accurate mora response is related to the outcome of the process and consequences of an act. This theory of ethics is solely based on adherence to the quest for the outcome which can result in the "greatest" good for a mass number and population within a society, specifically in a health care support service facility (Maidment et al., 2022). Based on this theory, a health care professional can choose the four patients who need less dosage to receive the medicine and allow the fifth one to die when there is a shortage of medicine dosage to keep one patient who is severely sick and four patients who are less sick and can survive. Therefore, this theory can produce the most moral good (Tóth et al., 2022).


It is one of the common ethical theories used in the biomedical and health and social care field. It emphasises on four key ethical principles:

  • Autonomy
  • Beneficence
  • Non-maleficence
  • Justice

It is basically a normative framework of ethical practice which is designed for decision-making practice in health and social care. The purpose of this theory is to provide an ethical framework to help the people associated with HSC to identify the moral problem and make decisions to provide the best care and support to the people based on their needs ( Kherbache et al., 2022).

Anti-oppressive Practice is another important approach and theory, that states- every individual should be treated equally and with respect. As per this theory, people who are in need of care and support should not be treated badly or unfairly because of gender age race, sexual orientation, or disabilities. This policy also states the rightful implementation of policies at the workplace setup, which can provide legal support to the people against any kind of discrimination (Barkas et al., 2022). This theory, in comparison to the other two theories of ethical practice, focuses on social issues (Garcia, 2022). This theory focuses on how larger the system has been created and that can protect under-privileged people as well as others while they are in need of getting healthcare support. Though, sometimes, this practice may create inequitable conditions, specifically at the time of creating, maintaining, and upholding practices in health and social care setup. These inequitable conditions are used to create a power imbalance between the service users and service providers (Harris et al., 2022). Anti-oppressive practice stresses maintaining equality in every group.

Task 3 Evaluation of a range of legislation associated with the equitable and non-discriminatory practice

According to the WHO constitution, "the highest attainable standards of health is the right of every human being”. One of the important pieces of legislation that can ensure equitability and non-discrimination practice in health and social care is: the Equality Act, of 2010. This act can protect the people who need to receive care and the workers who are in the line of providing support from being treated unequally or unfairly because of some specific characteristics. Direct discrimination happens when an individual is treated less favourably than others in similar circumstances. On the other hand, indirect discrimination occurs when a condition is applied equally to everyone by some who are unable to comply due to protective characteristics (Goodair and Reeves, 2022). According to this act, every individual should be treated equally by healthcare providers, irrespective of age, disability, gender, race, religion, belief and sex or sexual orientation.

Similarly, the Care Act, of 2014 also promote equitability and non-discrimination practice in health and social care. This legislation provides support to the people to improve their independence and well-being. As per this act, the local authorities and every healthcare organisation (both public and private) must arrange and offer services which can help people to meet their needs for care and support (Mahase, 2022). The Care Act, of 2014 is the law which sets out the adult social care service provision in England should be provided. It requires local authorities to ensure that people can obtain services that either delay the impact of their needs or stop the progression of their care demands.

The Mental Healthcare Act, of 2007 is another legislative practice which is being performed for ensuring equality and non-discrimination practices in health and social care setup. This legislation states that every healthcare organisation and care provider must provide treatment to people who have a mental disorder. This act includes the following:

  • Definition of mental disorder
  • Criteria of detention
  • Professionals’ role
  • Mental Health Review Tribunal
  • Age-appropriate services
  • Advocacy

The main purpose of this legislation is to ensure that people with serious mental disorders should be treated regardless of their consent and disabilities (Tóth et al., 2022). Additionally, this act also provides legal support to people with a mental disorder in reference to that healthcare providers should treat people with mental disabilities, fairly and rightfully way.

The NHS constitution for England (Department of Health, 2009) is another important legislative practice in the UK, with which equality and non-discriminatory practice can be ensured in the healthcare setup. This legislative framework sets out the rights, roles and responsibilities of staff and patients in relation to the delivery of health care and support. As per the constitution, healthcare providers should ensure that they are not discriminating against patients in terms of their age, sex, race, culture or ethnicity (Kherbache et al., 2022). This act also stresses that it should be the foremost responsibility of every healthcare provider to adhere to the equality and human rights legislation to practice or provide equal opportunity to every patient. Additionally, this constitution also states that every medical professional should be obliged with or abide by the Strict Code of Conduct and Code of Behaviour while providing care and support to people with needs (Barkas et al., 2022). This Code of Conduct will embody the high ethical and moral standards, values, protection of the interest and confidentiality of the patient, and requirement to uphold professional integrity.

Task 4 Discussion about the care values and standards underpin good practice

The Health care Values and standards are based on five principles:

  • Dignity
  • Respect
  • Compassion
  • Be included
  • Responsive care, support and well being

According to the NHS, a comprehensive service should be provided or made available for every individual. As per this care standard, the care service should be available to all irrespective of race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or belief. Gender, and another status. The Healthcare service should be designed to improve, prevent, diagnose and treat physical as well as mental illness with equal regard. This standard also ensures that it should be the duty of every healthcare professional to serve society and respect human rights. This standard indicates dignity, respect, compassion and responsive care.

Another important care value and standards that can be related to good healthcare practice are to maintain excellence and professionalism in the working scenario. According to NHS, it should be ensured at every healthcare set-up that people with needs can avail themselves of high-quality care which is safe, effective and focused on users-needs ( Maidment et al., 2022). The Health care professionals should maintain respect, dignity, integrity, and compassion in care service provision. This in turn can ensure that how patients and staff are treated not only because this is the right of healthcare providers, but also to ensure the safety, experience, and overall healthcare outcomes for the patients.

Another important value in healthcare practice is to ensure that the patient will be at the heart of everything. This indicates the value of "be included”. The requirements and preferences of patients, their families, and their carers must be reflected in NHS services, which should also be planned and customised to meet those needs. As part of this, the NHS will make sure that persons who are in the armed forces, reservists, their families, and veterans are not disadvantaged in accessing health services in the region they dwell in, in accordance with the Armed Forces Covenant (Goodair and Reeves, 2022). Patients shall be involved in and consulted on all decisions relating to their care and treatment, along with their relatives and carers, if necessary. Feedback from the public, patients, and staff will be actively encouraged by the NHS, welcomed, and used to enhance its offerings.


To conclude this assessment, it can be stated that legislation is important to ensure the rightfulness of patients in the healthcare setup. Every healthcare provider should abide by the legislative practices, and ethical considerations when it comes to offering service to the individual with specific needs. In this assessment, the focus has been given to legislation and theoretical approaches related to good healthcare practice.


Barkas, L.A., Armstrong, P.A. and Bishop, G., (2022). Is inclusion still an illusion in higher education? Exploring the curriculum through the student's voice. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 26(11), pp.1125-1140.

Garcia, R., (2022). Social determinants of health. A Population Health Approach to Health Disparities for Nurses: Care of Vulnerable Populations.

Goodair, B. and Reeves, A., (2022). Outsourcing health-care services to the private sector and treatable mortality rates in England, 2013–20: an observational study of NHS privatisation. The Lancet Public Health, 7(7), pp.e638-e646.

Goode, C.A. and Landefeld, T., (2018). The lack of diversity in healthcare. Journal of Best Practices in Health Professions Diversity, 11(2), pp.73-95.

Graham, K.L. and Moye, J., (2023). Training in Aging as a Diversity Factor: Education, Knowledge, and Attitudes Amongst Psychology Doctoral Students. Psychology Learning & Teaching, 22(1), pp.39-54.

Harris, R., Wilson-Daily, A.E. and Fuller, G., (2022). ‘I just want to feel like I’m part of everyone else’: how schools unintentionally contribute to the isolation of students who identify as LGBT+. Cambridge Journal of Education, 52(2), pp.155-173.

Kherbache, A., Mertens, E. and Denier, Y., (2022). Moral distress in medicine: an ethical analysis. Journal of Health Psychology, 27(8), pp.1971-1990.

Mahase, E., (2022). NHS England sets out ambitious new mental health access standards to deal with pandemic demand.

Maidment, J., Egan, R., Tudor, R. and Nipperess, S. eds., (2022). Practice skills in social work and welfare: More than just common sense. Taylor & Francis.

Nair, L. and Adetayo, O.A., 2019. Cultural competence and ethnic diversity in healthcare. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open, 7(5).

Tóth, Z., Caruana, R., Gruber, T. and Loebbecke, C., (2022). The dawn of the AI Robots: towards a new framework of AI robot accountability. Journal of Business Ethics, 178(4), pp.895-916.

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