May 19

Are you 'Confident with difference'?

Posted: 7 May 2019

Most people working in care want to be inclusive and welcoming. They want to offer truly person-centred care and provide an environment where people can be themselves. But the phrase ‘we treat everyone the same’ is often used in care services and despite the well-meant intention, treating everyone the same can ignore important differences.

When people are faced with situations that are different to their own life experiences, it’s not uncommon for them to be lacking in confidence. They might feel awkward or embarrassed about asking sensitive questions about sexual orientation or cultural or religious practices; unable to recognise when their behaviour or language might stop someone being themselves; or they might not appreciate why someone isn’t comfortable being open about who they are.

But we know there’s a real drive to be more confident with difference within the care sector. Getting it right doesn’t need to be difficult; an openness to exploring how well you’re doing and a commitment to trying new ideas is important to improve.

It’s clear that real improvement will only happen if everyone is involved – from frontline staff to leaders and that’s why we’ve developed ‘Confident with difference’. We’ve also been working closely with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) who recognise the importance of being confident with difference.

The aim of the ‘Confident with difference’ resource is to provide care services with the opportunity to consider how well they currently embrace diversity and allow them to form actions plans of where and how they can improve. This series of short films and activities has been designed for managers and leaders to use with their teams and you’ll also find a film aimed specifically at leaders and managers.

Two Trees Caring Home in Plymouth are one organisation who are keen to ensure that their staff are confident with difference and have trialled the new resources. Catherine Robertson, Registered Manager at Two Trees Caring Home tells us about her experience with using the resource:

We held a group supervision session with a core number of our staff team. We set up screens to show the films to the staff in smaller groups and used the facilitator guidance to help the discussion after each film.

The films were the right length to hold attention and the discussion afterwards was positive. Our staff felt really confident in some areas and we were able to recognise our achievements. There were some areas that we weren’t so confident on and some we hadn’t considered before.

We committed to a series of actions which included exploring the possibility of our own Pride event and we’ll be contacting our local Learning Disability support service to see if we could access some sex education sessions for interested residents. We’re also planning to arrange some visits to the local mosque and trips to explore different religions and faiths.

Paula Pillage, the owner/provider of Two Trees Caring Home also shares her positive experience about using the resources:

The staff were positive following the group session using the resources and this has led to improved confidence. A good example is discussing sexuality and sexual orientation with the residents when they wish to. Staff told us that before this session they had felt awkward and a bit embarrassed to engage in such conversations.

As well as creating better outcomes for the people who live at Two Trees, we also have some really good evidence for our next PIR and CQC inspection.


Find out more

Click here to find out how the ‘Confident with difference’ resource can help your organisation and support a culture for improvement.