In this issue:
• E+D in the news
• Prevent Duty
• Mental Health • Featured Topic
Equality and diversity enhances everyday life and simple changes to normal activities can ensure all individuals are included and given equal opportunities to achieve. Our newsletter offers updates on E&D, Safeguarding, Prevent Duty, Mental Health Awareness, and Health and Safety, as either found in the news or highlighted as our topic of the month.
Equality and Diversity in the news
The Football Association announced a new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Plan. The three year plan, called “In Pursuit of Progress”, will deliver initiatives focused mainly around gender and ethnicity across the general workforce. It includes the formation of The FA Inclusion Advisory Board (IAB), strict anti-discrimination regulations and clear inclusion structures.
Former Tory Leader, Iain Duncan Smith, has demanded that police should increase the use of Stop and Search to combat gang violence. A report that accuses senior officers of abandoning active policing, such as Stop and Search, for fear of being accused of institutional racism. This report came just days after the number of killing in London reached over 100 this year. Theresa May has previously led moves to cut police search powers claiming they were being misused and that black people and other ethnic minorities were up to 7 times more likely to be searched.
The Prevent Duty
The Prevent Strategy makes up part of the Government’s overall counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST. The aim of Prevent is to reduce the threat to the UK from terrorism by stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.
There are three specific, strategic objectives of Prevent:
- Respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat faced by those who promote it;
- Prevent people from being drawn in to terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support;
- Work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation that need addressing.
“The Prevent strategy addresses all forms of terrorism and we continue to prioritise according to the threat they pose to our national security” – Channel Duty Guidance, Section 1.
Channel is a programme within The Prevent Strategy that focuses on providing support to people that have been identified as vulnerable to being drawn in to terrorism. Channel protects those that are vulnerable by:
- Identifying at risk individuals
- Assessing the nature and extent of the risk
- Creating an appropriate support plan
When a person is referred to Channel they are first screened to ensure that the referral is genuine. Once this has been done they are then assessed to determine whether Channel is the best course of action or if they should be referred elsewhere. A multi-agency panel then reviews the individual to assess their needs and develop and action plan before the support is then delivered. After the action plan is complete the individual is assessed again and is either discharged from Channel, referred to another organisation or exits the programme no longer an at-risk individual.
Remember those all-important contact numbers:
Anti-Terrorism Hotline: 0800 789 321
Crime Stoppers: 0800 555 111
And above all, be vigilant! If in doubt report anything suspicious to 101 or 999.
A Yorkshire based sexual health charity has become the subject of a charity Commissions case after Heathcliffe Bowen, a former trustee between 2010 and 2014, was arrested for a string of child sexual offences. The charity submitted a serious incident report in February after Bowen was jailed which led to a compliance case on the charity being opened. The case looked into their safeguarding procedures and discovered that the other trustees had been aware of the allegations against Bowen since at least 2015 but failed to report it as a serious incident at the time. The commission stated, “Through their actions, the trustees placed the charity and its beneficiaries at undue risk, thereby falling short on important duties around safeguarding and managing risk.” The Charity has since made the decision to wind down services in the area.
The first inter-professional guidance on safeguarding vulnerable adults has been launched. The production of the document was led by the Royal College of Nursing at the request of the NHS and they worked with over 30 other colleges. The guidance is designed to stamp out all types of abuse that vulnerable adults may face and health care staff that work with vulnerable adults will have three years to meet the new standards. There are now different competency levels set out within the guidance and staff will be required to refresh their skills with-in a 3-year period, depending on the level of competency required.
Sally Copley, the director of policy and campaigns at Alzheimer’s Society, stated “The new guidance is great in theory, but health and care professionals must be given the resources to deliver it in practice. Currently there is not enough money in the system to provide even basic care for people with dementia, let alone the specialist training and support needed to work with people often unable to make their needs known.” She later goes on to say that this can lead to unintentional but still unacceptable abuse, such as those with dementia receiving inappropriate treatments like physical restraint or anti-psychotic drugs.
Health and Safety
A teen with dwarfism has been denied access to a Hospitality and Catering course, Louis and his mother claim that the college say he would be a health and safety risk and that he would course a disruption to other students if he got under their feet. Louis was originally offered a conditional place on the course and has said that the college has since backtracked due to his height. His mother has stated that she has been told that there would be very little point in him doing the course as he would not be allowed to work in a commercial kitchen and that they should find another course for Louis to complete. A spokeswoman for the college states “as the student’s place at the college is still under discussion, we do not wish to comment”
Since the tragedy of the Grenfell Fire in 2017, the Royal Institute of British Architects announced that it is in the process of creating a compulsory Health and Safety test for all members. The test will launch in 2019 and all existing members will have a year to pass the test before renewing their membership for the 2021 subscription year. The test is said to serve as an admission that the RIBA’s existing training failed to equip architects with the necessary health and safety skills.
2,000 workers were surveyed on the most bizarre health and safety rules. Here are a few that made us laugh:
- No tinsel at Christmas – someone may get tangled up
- Don’t change a lightbulb
- No birthday candles
- Do not carry drinks up or down stairs
- No eating while walking
- No balloons
- No turning things off
- No open windows
Topic of the Month – Scroll Free September
The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) is launching Scroll Free September to encourage people to take a step back from social media. It aims to help people spend less time hooked to their phones and showcase the benefits of a digital detox such as improving your sleep and happiness.
But how can taking a break from social media improve your sleep?
Have you ever noticed that a lot of social media uses blue in their logos? Facebook, Skype and Twitter are all completely blue. This isn’t only because blue is the most universally liked colour, but also because blue light has been proven to influence your circadian rhythm, or your sleep cycle. Blue light during daylight hours can boost your attention and reaction times as well as your mood which can be extremely beneficial. However, those reactions to the blue light during the night can make it harder for you to get to sleep so then you don’t get a full rest. If you’re awake at night with not much else to do you are more likely to spend time on social media which then become a vicious cycle. The more you use social media, the more blue light you see, the more you are awake, the more you use social media. Breaking that cycle is the first step in getting your circadian rhythm back on track.
The RSPH estimates that as many as 320,000 people across the UK are planning to take part in Scroll Free September. If you didn’t want to quite completely there are other ways to track how much time you spend on social media so that you can look at cutting down. The app Quality Time allows you to monitor how much time you spend on certain apps and you are able to set limits on how long you can spend on them. This could be a great way to slowly reduce the time you spend on social media and see the benefits that can have.