If you have any questions about this privacy policy or our treatment of your personal information, please contact us at;

What information do we collect? We may collect, store and use the following kinds of personal information:

(a) information about your computer and about your visits to and use of this website and our services (including your contact details, IP address, geographical location, browser type and version, operating system type and version, referral source, length of visit, page views, website navigation paths and service usage);

(b) information relating to any transactions carried out between you and us on or in relation to this website, including information relating to any purchases you make of our goods or services;

(C) information that you provide to us for the purpose of registering with us;

(d) information that you send to us in order to obtain a quotation for services;

(e) information that you provide to us for the purpose of subscribing to our email notifications and/or newsletters;

(f) information that you provide to us for the purpose of using our website-based and other services;. 

(g) any other information that you choose to send to us. Using your personal information Personal information submitted to us via this website, through our services or by any other means will be used for the purposes specified in this privacy policy or in relevant parts of the website.

We may use your personal information to:

(a) administer the website and our services;

(b) improve your browsing experience by personalising the website;

(c) enable your use of our services;

(d) provide products and supply services purchased and/or used by you;

(e) send statements and invoices to you, and collect payments from you;

(f) send you general (non-marketing) commercial communications;

(g) send you email notifications which you have requested;

(h) send to you our newsletter and other marketing communications relating to our business or the businesses of carefully-selected third parties which we think may be of interest to you by post or, where you have specifically agreed to this, by email or similar technology (you can inform us at any time if you no longer require marketing communications);

(i) provide third parties with statistical information about our users – but this information will not be used to identify any individual user;

(j) deal with enquiries and complaints made by or about you relating to the website or our services. When you submit personal information for publication on our website or our services, we will publish and otherwise use that information in accordance with the license you grant to us.

All our website and services financial transactions are handled through our payment services provider, Stripe. You can review the Stripe privacy policy at . We will share information with Stripe only to the extent necessary for the purposes of processing payments you make via our website and dealing with charge-backs, refunds, complaints, and queries relating to such payments. Data disclosures We may disclose information about you to any of our employees, officers, agents, suppliers or subcontractors insofar as reasonably necessary for the purposes as set out in this privacy policy.

In addition, we may disclose your personal information:

(a) to the extent that we are required to do so by law;

(b) in connection with any legal proceedings or prospective legal proceedings;

(c) in order to establish, exercise or defend our legal rights (including providing information to others for the purposes of fraud prevention and reducing credit risk);

(d) to the purchaser (or prospective purchaser) of any business or asset that we are (or are contemplating) selling;

(e) to any person who we reasonably believe may apply to a court or other competent authority for disclosure of that personal information where, in our reasonable opinion, such court or authority would be reasonably likely to order disclosure of that personal information.

International data transfers Information that we collect may be stored and processed in and transferred between any of the countries in which we (or our subcontractors) operate in order to enable us to use the information in accordance with this privacy policy. Information which you provide may be transferred to countries which do not have data protection laws equivalent to those in force in the European Economic Area. However, we will endeavor to ensure that any transfer of data is made subject to the conclusion of applicable agreements which seek to protect the security of your data and to notify you of such transfer, if necessary.

In addition, personal information that you submit for publication on the website or through our services will be published on the internet and may be available, via the internet, around the world. We cannot prevent the use or misuse of such information by others.

You expressly agree to such transfers of your personal information.

Security of your personal information
We will take reasonable technical and organisational precautions to prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of your personal information which you provide to us.

We will store all the personal information you provide on our secure (password and firewall protected) servers.

Of course, data transmission over the internet is inherently insecure, and we cannot guarantee the security of data sent over the internet.

You are responsible for keeping your password and user details confidential. We will not ask you for your password (except, of course, when you log in to the website or our services).

Policy amendments
We may update this privacy policy from time-to-time by posting a new version on our website or on our services.

We may from time to time also notify you of changes to our privacy policy by email.

Your rights
You may request us to provide you with any personal information we hold about you. We may withhold such personal information to the extent permitted by law.

You may instruct us not to process your personal information for marketing purposes by sending an email to us. In practice, you will usually either expressly agree in advance to our use of your personal information for marketing purposes, or we will provide you with an opportunity to opt-out of the use of your personal information for marketing purposes.

Third party websites
The website or our services may contain links to other websites. We are not responsible for the privacy policies or practices of third party websites.

Updating information
Please let us know if the personal information which we hold about you needs to be corrected or updated.


Our data protection registration number is C1324276

Our Contact details


Policy Statement

This organisation’s policy is intended to comply with Regulation 16 of the Fundamental Standard Regulations.

This organisation accepts the rights of service users to make complaints and to register comments and concerns about the services received. It further accepts that they should find it easy to do so. It welcomes complaints, seeing them as opportunities to learn, adapt, improve, and provide better services.

The Policy

This policy is intended to ensure that complaints are dealt with properly and that all complaints or comments by service users and their relatives, carers, and advocates are taken seriously. It is not designed to apportion blame, consider the possibility of negligence, or provide compensation. It is not part of the company’s Disciplinary Policy. This organisation believes that failure to listen to or acknowledge complaints leads to an aggravation of problems, service user dissatisfaction, and possible litigation. The organisation supports the idea that most complaints if dealt with early, openly, and honestly, can be sorted at a local level between just the complainant and the organisation. The complaints procedure is made available to service users and families in their Service User Guide. A copy is always kept in their care plan in their homes and available in a format that can be understood.

ADASS has published a Good Practice Guide on Handling Complaints concerning Adults and Children in Social Care Settings. They have identified the following five principles:

  1. Ensure that the complaints process is accessible. 
  2. Ensure that the complaints process is straightforward for service users and their representatives. 
  3. Ensure that an appropriate system is in place to keep service users informed throughout the complaints process.
  4. Ensure that the complaints process is resolution-focused. 
  5. Ensure that quality assurance processes are in place to enable organisational learning and service improvement from complaints and customer feedback.

Aim of the Complaints Procedure

We aim to ensure that the complaints procedure is properly and effectively implemented and that service users feel confident that their complaints and worries are listened to and acted upon promptly and fairly. Specifically, we aim to ensure that:

  • Service users, carers, and their representatives are aware of how to complain, and the company provides easy-to-use opportunities for them to register their complaints.
  • A named person will be responsible for the administration of the procedure.
  • Every written complaint is acknowledged within five working days.
  • All complaints are investigated within 14 days of being made.
  • All complaints are responded to in writing within 28 days of being made.
  • Complaints are dealt with promptly, fairly, and sensitively, with due regard to the upset and worry that they can cause to both service users and staff.



The Director is responsible for following through with complaints. However, there may be a specific post with responsibility for complaints. Communication between this post and the Director should be clear and transparent so that the Director can demonstrate evidence of compliance. [PA]

Complaints Procedure

Verbal Complaints

  • The organisation accepts that all verbal complaints, no matter how seemingly unimportant, must be taken seriously.
  • Front-line staff who receive a verbal complaint are expected to seek to solve the problem immediately.
  • If they cannot solve the problem immediately, they should offer to get their line manager to deal with the problem.
  • Staff are expected to remain polite, courteous, sympathetic, and professional to the complainant. They are taught that there is nothing to be gained by adopting a defensive or aggressive attitude.
  • At all times in responding to the complaint, staff are encouraged to remain calm and respectful.
  • Staff should not make excuses or blame other staff.
  • After discussing the problem, the manager or member of staff dealing with the complaint will suggest a means of resolving it. If this course of action is acceptable, the member of staff should clarify the agreement with the complainant and agree on a way in which the results of the complaint will be communicated to the complainant (i.e., through another meeting or by letter).
  • If the suggested plan of action is not acceptable to the complainant, the member of staff or manager will ask the complainant to put their complaint in writing to the registered manager. The complainant should be given a copy of the company’s complaints procedure if they do not already have one.
  • Details of all verbal and written complaints must be recorded in the complaints book and the service user’s file.

Serious or Written Complaints

Preliminary steps:

  • When we receive a written complaint, it is passed to the designated lead manager, who records it in the complaints book and sends an acknowledgment letter within five working days to the complainant.
  • With this letter, the manager also includes a leaflet detailing the organisation’s procedure for the complainant. (The designated lead is the named person who deals with the complaint through our process.)
  • If the complaint raises potentially serious matters, advice could be sought from a legal advisor. If legal action is taken at this stage, any investigation by the organisation under the complaints procedure ceases immediately.

Investigation of the complaint by the organisation:

  • Immediately on receipt of the complaint, the complaints manager will start an investigation and, within 14 days, should be in a position to provide a full explanation to the complainant, either in writing or by arranging a meeting with the individuals concerned.
  • If the issues are too complex for the investigation to be completed within 28 days, the complainant will be informed of any delays.
  • Where the complaint cannot be resolved between the parties, an arbitration service will be used. This service and its findings will be final to both parties. The cost of this will be borne by the organisation.


  • If a meeting is arranged, the complainant will be advised that they may, if so desired, bring a friend, relative, or a representative, such as an advocate.
  • At the meeting, a detailed explanation of the results of the investigation will be given, in addition to an apology, if deemed appropriate (an apology is not necessarily an admission of liability).
  • Such a meeting allows the management to show the complainant that the matter has been taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.

Follow-up action:

  • After the meeting or if the complainant does not want a meeting, a written account of the investigation will be sent to the complainant. This includes details of how to approach the CQC, if the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome, utilising the Your Experience button on their website.
  • The outcomes of the investigation and the meeting are recorded in the complaints book and any shortcomings in company procedures will be identified and acted upon.
  • The company management formally reviews all complaints at least every six months as part of its quality monitoring and improvement procedures to identify the lessons learned.


Policies and procedures are available in accessible formats, well publicised, readily available, and accessible to individuals using the service.


To raise concerns, contact:

1. Jabucare(PA),tel.07539638690


2. Royal College of Nursing(

3. NMC(


4.The Care Quality Commission



Newcastle upon Tyne


Tel. 03000 616161

The CQC will take details of concerns and respond appropriately and proportionately to the information divulged.


Related Guidance

CQC Regulation 16: Receiving and acting on complaints: 


CQC Complaints Matter: 


CQC Regulation 20: Duty of Candour: 


Date Reviewed: September 2023

The person responsible for updating this policy: [Jabu Nyirongo]

Next Review Date: September 2024




Policy Statement

The  Data Protection Act 2018 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sets standards for protecting personal data and gives people more control over the use of their data. 

There are 4 main matters provided for, these are:

  • General Data Processing
  • Law Enforcement Data processing
  • Data Processing for National Security Purposes
  • Enforcement

All the above need to be set in the context of international, national, and local data processing systems which are increasingly dependent upon internet usage for the exchange and transit of data. The UK must lock into international data protection arrangements, systems, and processes, and this Act updates and reinforces the mechanism to enable this to occur.

This policy is written in two Sections.

  • Section 1 Overview of the Act.
  • Section 2 The Policy and Templates

Section 1

Overview of the Act

The Act is structured in seven parts, each covering specific areas. These are:

Part 1: Preliminary

This sets out the parameters of the Act, gives an overview, explains that most processing of personal data is subject to the Act, and gives the terms relating to the processing of personal data.

Part 2: General Processing

This supplements the GDPR and sets out a broadly equivalent regime to certain types of processing to which the GDPR does not apply.

Part 3: Law Enforcement Processing

This covers: 

  • “Competent authority” 
  • Meaning of “controller” and “processor”
  • Data protection principles
  • Safeguards regarding archiving and sensitive processing 
  • Rights and access of the data subject, including erasure
  • Implements the law enforcement directive
  • Controller and processor duties and obligations 
  • Records
  • Co-operation with the ICO commissioner
  • Personal data breaches
  • The remedy for such breaches
  • Position of the data protection officer and their tasks
  • Transfer of data internationally to particular recipients
  • National security considerations
  • Special processing restrictions and reporting of infringements.

Part 4: Intelligence Services Processing

This covers only data handled by the above e.g. MI5 and MI6 and includes rights of access, automated decisions, rectification and erasure, obligations relating to security, and data breaches.

Part 5: The Information Commissioner

This covers: 

  • General functions including publication of Codes of Practice and guidance 
  • Their International role
  • Their responsibilities regarding specific Codes of Practice
  • Consensual audits
  • Information to be provided to the Commissioner
  • Confidentiality and privileged communication
  • Fees for services
  • Charges payable to the commission
  • Publications
  • Notices from the Commissioner
  • Reporting to parliament

Part 6: Enforcement

This covers the new enforcement regime regarding all forms of Notice issued by the Commissioner

  • Powers of entry and inspection
  • Penalty amounts
  • Appeals
  • Complaints
  • Remedies in the court
  • Offences
  • Special purpose proceedings

Part 7: Supplementary and Final Provision.

This covers legal changes that the new Act alters concerning other legal matters, e.g. Tribunal Procedure rules, definitions, changes to the Data Protection Convention, etc., and a List of Schedule(s).

As you can see, this Act is a huge piece of legislation, the majority of which is outside the remit of service providers working within the Adult Health and Social Care Sector. The I.C.O. confirms that many concepts and principles are much the same and businesses that were complying with the old law were likely to be already meeting many of the key requirements of the GDPR and the new Act. 

The Information Commissioner says the Act represents a “step change” from previous laws. “It means a change of culture of the organisation. That is not an easy thing to do, and it’s certainly true that accountability cannot be bolted on: it needs to be a part of the organisation’s overall systems approach to how it manages and processes personal data”. It’s a change of mindset regarding data handling, collection, and retention. 

 We need to stop taking personal data for granted, it’s not a commodity we own: it is only ever on loan. Individuals have been given control and we have been given the fiduciary duty of care over it!

As an organisation handling personal data on a day-to-day basis, this policy sets out the requirements of the Act and how we, as an organisation will meet our legal obligations. Staff awareness and understanding of their responsibilities regarding the handling, collection, and retention of data will be core to the successful embedding of this policy.


The GDPR applies to “Controllers”, “Processors” and “Data Protection Officers” and to certain types of information, specifically, “Personal Data” and “Sensitive Personal Data” referred to in the Act as Special Categories of Personal Data”.


This role determines, on behalf of the organisation, the purposes, and means of processing personal data.


This role is responsible for processing personal data on behalf of a controller. The Act places specific legal obligations on you, e.g. you are required to keep and maintain records of personal data and processing activities. This role has legal liabilities if they are responsible for any breach.

Data Protection Officer.

This role is a must only in certain circumstances if you are:

  • A public authority (except for courts)
  • Carry out large-scale systematic monitoring of individuals e.g. Online behaviour tracking
  • Carry out large-scale processing of special categories of data, or data relating to criminal convictions and offences e.g., Police, DBS bodies, prison service, etc. 

“personal data”

This means any information relating to an identifiable person can be directly or indirectly identified in particular by reference to an identifier. So, this would include name, reference or identification number, location data, or online identifier. This reflects changes in technology that incorporate a wide range of different identifiers. Personal Data applies to both automated and manual filing systems. It can also apply to pseudonymised e.g. key-coded can fall within the GDPR depending on how difficult it is to attribute the pseudonym to a particular individual’s race, ethnic origin, politics, religion, trade union membership, sex life, or sexual orientation.

“Special Categories of Personal Data”

This category of data is more sensitive and much more protected. Sensitive personal data specifically includes genetic data, biometric data, health, race, ethnic origin, politics, religion, trade union membership, and sexual orientation Safeguards apply to other types of data e.g. criminal convictions and offences; intelligence data, etc.

Data Protection Principles

The GDPR sets out the following principles for which organisations are responsible and must meet. These require that personal data shall be:

  • Processed lawfully, fairly, and in a transparent manner about individuals.
  • Be collected for specified, explicit, and legitimate purposes, and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with purposes, further processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research. purposes or statistical purposes shall not be considered to be incompatible with the initial purposes.
  • Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary for the purposes for which they are processed.
  • Accurate and where necessary kept up to date, every reasonable step must be taken that personal data that is inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay.
  • Kept in a form that permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed.
  • Personal data may be stored for longer purposes in so far as the personal data will be processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes, or statistical purposes subject to the appropriate technical and organisational measures required by the GDPR (the safeguards) to safeguard the rights and freedoms of individuals. 
  • Processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of personal data. Including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and accidental loss. Destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.

“The controller shall be responsible for, and be able to demonstrate, compliance with the principles” Article 5 (2) GDPR

“Lawful bases” for processing

There are 6 lawful bases for processing data. These are:

  • Consent: the individual has given clear consent for us to process their personal data for a specific purpose.
  • Contract: the processing is necessary for a contract you have with the individual, or because they have asked us to take specific steps before entering into a contract.
  • Legal Obligation: the processing is necessary for us to comply with the law (not including contractual obligations).
  • Vital Interests: the processing is necessary to protect someone’s life.
  • Public Task: the processing is necessary for us to perform a task in the public interest, or for official functions and the task or function has a clear basis in law.
  • Legitimate interests: the processing is necessary for our legitimate interests or the legitimate interests of a third party unless there is a good reason to protect the individual’s personal data which overrides those legitimate interests. (This does not apply if a public authority is processing data to perform its official tasks).

“Lawful bases” must be determined by the organisation before processing any personal data and thorough consideration must be given to this decision. 

Service users must be aware of the lawful base used by this organisation to process their personal data 


The GDPR sets a high standard here. Consent means offering individuals real choice and control. Consent practices and existing paperwork will need to be refreshed and meet specific requirements. These are

  • Positive opt-in, no pre-ticked boxes, or other methods of “default” consent.
  • A clear and specific statement of consent.
  • Vague or blanket consent is not enough.
  • Keep consent requests separate from other terms and conditions.
  • Keep evidence of consent – who, when, how, and what you told people.
  • Keep consent under review.
  • Avoid giving consent to processing pre-conditions to any service. 
  • Employers need to take extra care to evidence that consent is freely given and should avoid overreliance on the consent.

Consent is one lawful basis to consider but organisations in a position of power over individuals should consider alternative “lawful bases”. If we would still process their personal data without consent, then asking for consent is misleading and inherently unfair.

Note: Consent within this policy relates only to data processing not Health or Support in a Social Care context. You must still use consent as defined within the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to deliver services

Legal Obligation

Put simply, the processing is necessary for us as an organisation to comply with the law, e.g. the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014, which requires us as providers to collect, handle and process data in a prescribed manner.

Legitimate Interests

  • This is the most flexible lawful basis for processing. 
  • It is likely to be appropriate where we process in ways that people would reasonably expect us to, with a minimal privacy impact, or where there is a compelling justification for the processing.
  • There are 3 elements to consider when using this lawful base. We need to:
  • Identify a legitimate interest.
  • Show that the processing is necessary to achieve it: and balance it against the individual’s interests, rights, and freedoms.
  • Legitimate interests can mean our organisations, the interest of third parties, commercial interests, and individual or social benefits.
  • The processing must be necessary.
  • A balance must be struck between our interests, and the individual’s, and would it be reasonable to expect the processing, or would it cause unnecessary harm, then their interests are likely to override our legitimate interests.
  • Keep a record of your legitimate interest assessment (LIA) to help you demonstrate compliance.

The above are the 3 most pertinent bases for Health and Social Care data processing activity. 

Contract, Vital Interests, or Public Task

These apply within specific work settings and would be difficult to meet because service providers are subject to specific legislative and regulatory requirements to work within a “Regulated Activity”.

Individual Rights

The GDPR provides the following rights for individuals: 

  • Right to be informed 
  • Right of access 
  • Right to rectification 
  • Right to erasure 
  • Right to restrict processing 
  • Right to data portability 
  • Right to object 

Rights concerning automated decision-making and profiling. 

All relevant guidance to individual rights is not yet complete, Working Party (WP)29 will continue to work and produce such guidance as is thought appropriate.
For any individual request which falls into the above categories, this organisation will follow the relevant guidance currently available on the following website. 

Privacy notices, transparency, and control

To start a privacy notice, you need to tell people, as a minimum

  • Who you are.
  • What you are going to do with their information.
  • Who it will be shared with?

Being transparent, and providing accessible information, is core to compliance and the GDPR Regulation 20: Duty of Candour – Care Quality Commission ( Privacy notices are the most common way to meet the GDPR requirements.

Transparency, in governance or business context, is honesty and openness, and the more transparent we can be the more easily understood and access our services become to the people who use them. In the context of data processing is simply that: 

“It should be transparent to natural persons that personal data concerning them are collected, used, consulted, or otherwise processed and to what extent the personal data are or will be processed. The principle of transparency requires that any information and communication relating to the processing of personal data be easily accessible and easy to understand, and that clear and plain language be used. That principle concerns, in particular, information to the data subjects on the identity of the controller and the purposes of the processor and further information to ensure fair and transparent processing in respect of the confirmation and communication of personal data concerning them which is being processed.”

Information Commissioner: Role and Function

The Information Commission Office is the UK’s supervising authority.

Within the Enforcement Toolbox, the Information Commissioner Office known as the I.C.O. can now issue substantial fines of up to 20 million, or, 4% of an organisation’s global turnover for certain data protection infringements. Fines, when appropriate, will be at the discretion of the I.C.O. with considerable variations expected to be levied. There are no fixed penalties or minimum fines, though there are different maximum fines for different breaches. The GDPR also empowers the I.C.O. to create tailor-made solutions to deal with infringements brought to their attention. This does not mean that organisations can relax about compliance, but diligent small and medium-sized organisations can take comfort in the fact that they are unlikely to face the sort of punitive fines that rogue tech giants could face. 

The highest imposed fine limit was £500,000 under the old Act (1998) but the highest fine ever imposed was £400,000 to TalkTalk for failings in connection with a cyber-attack in 2016. The Information Commissioner is playing down the “scaremongering because of misconceptions”. £20 million fines could put businesses out of business and that is not the intention of the GDPR, though there is a seismic shift in the number of fines that could be imposed.

The role and scope of the I.C.O. have not fundamentally changed, but rather have been expanded and enhanced via the GDPR.

Codes of Conduct and Certification Mechanisms 

Although the use of any of the above is encouraged by the GDPR it is not obligatory. If an approved code of conduct or certification scheme becomes available that covers our processing activity, consideration will be given to working towards such a scheme as a way of demonstrating our compliance. The I.C.O. will develop its code of conduct as it has already worked with the Direct Marketing Commission Code of Conduct: DMA Code.

Derogations and Exceptions

The Act provides that member states of the EU can provide their own national rules in respect of specific processing activities.

All Data Controllers must be familiar with Schedules 1-18 of the GDPR as these are the lawful exemptions pertinent to many other legal frameworks and Acts. These Schedules cover things such as Parliamentary Privilege, Health, and Social Work, Criminal Convictions (Additional Safeguards), Research, Statistics and Archiving, and Education on Child Abuse, and include specific provisions for data processing within the Schedule(s).

For example Schedule 15: Powers of Entry and Inspection. This Schedule sets out the powers of the Information Commissioner’s Office regarding warrant(s) issued by the courts which allow the I.C.O. to enter premises and inspect data field there, including the seizure of documents. Schedule 18 is where all the legislative changes, in all pertinent primary legislation, are found, including the repeal of the Data Protection Act 1998. As the Act is embedded into the organisation, Data controllers, their roles and responsibilities, will need to be reviewed and revised to ensure compliance.

Codes of Practice

The Act enhances the role of the Information Commission’s Office (I.C.O.) in the compilation of such Codes and these will be available in due course. We must regularly check the I.C.O. website to keep up with current guidance.

The Policy

Section 2

This organisation believes that all data, required for the delivery of the service and the lawful running of the organisation must be collected, handled, maintained, and stored following the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) forms the basis of the Act but to be effective and compliant with its requirements, the Related Policy list should be viewed as core to this policy, as should Section 1 and the Related Guidance links.

Lawful Bases

After due consideration, this organisation has determined that the following Lawful Bases are used in the collection of data.

Data Protection Principles

The Act sets out 6 principles that must be adhered to when processing data

Please refer to the Related Guidance links for further information 

The GDPR sets out the following principles for which this organisation is responsible 

and must meet. These require that personal data shall be:

  • Processed lawfully, fairly, and transparently about individuals
  • Be collected for specified, explicit, and legitimate purposes, and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with purposes, further processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes, or statistical purposes shall not be considered to be incompatible with the initial purposes
  • Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary for relation to the purposes for which they are processed.
  • Accurate and where necessary kept up to date, every reasonable step must be taken that personal data that is inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay.
  • Kept in a form that permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed. Personal data may be stored for longer purposes in so far as the personal data will be processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes, or statistical purposes subject to the appropriate technical and organisational measures required by the GDPR (the safeguards) to safeguard the rights and freedoms of individuals
  • Processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and accidental loss, destruction, or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.

“The controller shall be responsible for, and be able to demonstrate, compliance with the principles” Article 5 (2) GDPR

Individual Rights

There are several changes here in particular the Right of Access concerning timescales and fees. These must be fully understood concerning anyone submitting a Subject Access request. Please refer to the related Guidance Link 

The GDPR provides the following rights for individuals: 

  • Right to be informed 
  • Right of access 
  • Right to rectification 
  • Right to erasure 
  • Right to restrict processing 
  • Right to data portability 
  • Right to object 
  • Rights about automated decision making and profiling 

Each of the above rights has its own Best Practice Process which you will find here 

Freedom of Information requests

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act gives any person the right to obtain information held by public authorities unless there are good reasons to keep it confidential.

Refer to the separate Freedom of Information Policy for further details

If the information required is their data the request must be made through a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act 2018 and not under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Sharing Information and Risk Assessment

Before sharing information we consider four key questions

  • What is the purpose of information sharing — is there a clear objective that can best be achieved by sharing the information?
  • What is the risk to individuals (both the subject of the information or any third parties) of sharing the information and is this risk proportionate to the benefits to the individual that will be achieved? This includes considering if there is a risk to individuals if the information is not shared.
  • How will the information be shared?
  • Is the information sharing going to be in line with the requirements of the Data Protection Legislation?

Refer also to the Co-operating with other providers Policy.

Information Security Management 

Information security is essential for all types of confidential records, whether manual or electronic. We ensure staff takes basic precautions against information security breaches, such as not leaving portable computers, service user notes, or files in unattended cars or easily accessible areas. 

Staff are made aware of data protection policies and procedures during their induction and receive further training on an annual and when-required basis. 

Staff supervision, staff meetings resident meetings, and guidebooks clearly emphasise the importance we put on the security of personal and sensitive information that we are required to collect by our regulators.

All files and portable equipment should be stored under lock and key when not being used. Staff should not take service user records home. 

We use a secure Email system or equivalent for all our communications of sensitive personal data. [

All staff receive training on information security management and how to share information safely.

Privacy Notices

This is a new requirement for data processing, it is an accessible information declaration that should set out clearly how we will gather, use handle, store, and process personal data.

The Code uses the term “Privacy Notice” to describe all the privacy information that you make available or provide to individuals when you collect information about them. It is often argued that people’s expectations able personal data are changing, particularly through the use of social media, the use of mobile apps, and the willingness of the public to share personal information via these platforms.

However, as an organisation, we are increasingly aware of the fragile trust which can be easily broken through data breaches and is therefore seeking transparency as a means of building trust and confidence with users of our services. It is in the spirit of the Act that privacy, transparency, and control become a given for users.

Being transparent by providing a privacy notice is an important part of fair processing. When planning a privacy notice, we need to consider the following:

  • What information is being collected?
  • Who is collecting it?
  • How is it collected?
  • Why is it being collected?
  • How will it be used?
  • Who will it be shared with?
  • What will be the effect of this on the individuals concerned?
  • Is the intended use likely to cause individuals to object or complain?

The Privacy notice must be easily understood by users of the service and include all of the above, it must also be easily visible so in this organisation it will be displayed 

[on our website;]

Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR)

This guide issued by the ICO covers specifically electronic marketing messages i.e. phone, fax, email, or text, and includes the use of cookies. It introduces specific roles on the above keeping such communication services secure and user’s privacy regarding traffic and location data, itemised billing, line identification, and directory listings 

The Data Protection Act 2018 still applies if you are processing personal data. The PECR sets out some extra rules for electronic communications and please be mindful of electronic schedule systems which will also come under PECR

Data Protection By Design

This organisation has a general obligation to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to demonstrate that we have considered the principles of data protection in our processing activities.

Any new systems of work or changes to our operational processes will involve consideration of how by default we as an organisation will have the necessary safeguards in place to prevent personal data from being disclosed in breach of the law.

Privacy Impact Assessment 

It will be assessed whether a Privacy Impact Assessment is required, including assessing whether there is a high risk to people’s data rights and taking into account the requirements of the Data Protection legislation.

A Privacy Impact Assessment may be required when the processing could result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals.

A privacy Impact Assessment will include:

  • Identification of data
  • Evaluate the risks or breach 
  • Assess the impact – the individual and organisation 
  • Devise measures to mitigate risks 
  • Monitor review and update

The Data Controller is responsible for identifying when a Privacy Impact Assessment might be required.  

Reporting Breaches 

The designated data lead or data controller will assess whether there is a risk to people’s data rights and freedoms and if there is, they will notify the ICO.

In the event that personal data has been breached the designated data lead or data controller must ensure that the Data Breach Plan is followed. 

Breaches must be reported to the ICO within 72 hours of their discovery even if the nature of the breach is not yet fully known. 

All persons affected by the breach should be notified as soon as possible after the breach has been identified. Support and advice should be provided where there is a risk present due to the breach.

If there has been a deliberate breach by staff, then the company’s disciplinary processes will be invoked which could include treating the alleged breach up to and including an allegation of gross misconduct. Deliberate or malicious breaches could result in legal proceedings and prosecution.  See Appendix.

National Data Opt-Out

Under the national data opt-out planned to be implemented in April 2022, everyone who uses publicly-funded health and/or care services can stop health and care organisations from sharing their “confidential patient information” with other organisations if it is not about managing or delivering their care. For example, if this information is used for research or planning purposes.

It does not affect how we share information with other organisations to manage someone’s care and it won’t apply if we have explicit consent to share information or if the information is appropriately anonymised.

As a care provider, we do not share confidential patient information except to manage or deliver care. The new opt-out should not have a major impact on our service users, but it is always important to treat people’s confidential information sensitively. So, if someone has opted out of sharing their data, we will not use confidential patient information for planning or research purposes, to ensure we comply with opt-out legislation.

We are using the term “confidential patient information” as this is the term already used by the NHS where the opt-out is already in force. “Confidential patient information” applies to information about someone’s health or social care that can identify them. 

Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT)

We update annually or when changes occur, our Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT) to ensure it reflects our current data and cyber security arrangements, taking into account any changes and how we manage data throughout the year. We ensure the relevant staff are trained and competent to complete the toolkit.

File Retention

The GDPR sets out Guidance on files and retention including archiving, specifically Health and Social Care personal data is generally exempt. 

As a provider of services, file and retention guidelines are in place from our Regulator which includes CQC and the NHS as well as Local Authorities via the Service Specification within any contractual arrangements. A Guide to Confidentiality in Health and Social Care – NHS Digital

A periodic check of the Regulator’s Guidance should be part of the review of this policy.

Records Management Code of Practice for Health and Social Care 2016

This Code of Practice is for providers working under contract to the NHS and the storage and disposal times are different from those above. Appendix 3 of the code contains the detailed retention schedules. It sets out how long records should be retained, either due to their ongoing administrative value or because of statutory requirements. Records Management Code of Practice – NHS Transformation Directorate (NHS.nhs. the UK)

Refer to the Record Keeping Policy for details.


To meet the requirements of the Act a thorough knowledge of the Guidance should be the priority for the Data Controller. 

It is also important that the Act is placed in the context of other compliance requirements namely The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 and all other lawful requirements such as Regulation 18 Staffing to name but one.

In recognition of the complexities of the Act, the ICO has set up an advice service for small organisations.

Related Policies

Adult Safeguarding

Accessible Information and Communication

Access to Records and Files




Cyber Security

Duty of Candour


Related Guidance

Smaller Organisations ICO: 


Guide to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): 


Records Management Code of Practice for Health and Social Care 2016: 


ICO Data Protection Self-Assessment: 


Direct Marketing Guidance:


Example of Privacy Notice:


Guide to privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR):


Data Protection and the use of Criminal Offence Data for Employment and Education Purposes:


NHSX Covid-19 advice for social care   


CQC: Regulation 20 Duty of Candour 


Data Security and Protection Toolkit 

Date Reviewed: September 2023

Person responsible for updating this policy: [Jabu Nyirongo]

Next Review Date: Sep 2024




  • Policy
  • The
  • Accessibility 
  • Protected
  • Types
    of Discrimination
  • Recruitment
    and Selection 
  • Monitoring
    and Audit 
  • Related
  • Related
  • Training
  • Part
    Two of this policy is intended as an aide-mémoire for staff who are
    involved in meeting the needs of any ethnic minority group, it is not

Policy Statement

Since coming into force in October 2010 this legislation is
probably the least understood and most widely misrepresented. The Act is
phrased due to its complex and overarching legal framework, replacing over 116
separate pieces of legislation into one single Act. The Act simplifies
strengthens and harmonises the current legislation (pre-2010) to provide
Britain with a discrimination law, which protects individuals from unfair
treatment and promotes a fair and equal society. The 9 main pieces of
legislation that have merged are:

  • The Equal Pay Act 1970
  • The Sex Discrimination Act 1975
  • The Race Relations Act 1976
  • The Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulation 2003
  • The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulation 2003
  • The Equality Act 2006 Part 2
  • The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulation 2007
  • The Gender Recognition Act 2004

As an organisation, we are aware of the importance of this
Act in relation to service users and staff and the good governance of the
organisation generally.

The Policy

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) from time to
time, publish guidance and develops different Codes of Practice in line with a
timetable set by the government. The basis upon which the Equality Act is
structured is Protected Characteristics and how they apply both in the
workplace and in everyday life. 

This organisation is committed to promoting Equality and
Diversity throughout its operations through robust policies and procedures,
training and ongoing review to ensure our service is accessible to all. 


This organisation strives to ensure that its services are
accessible to all people. This includes a commitment to the accessible
information standard, where information will be provided in the format of
choice to ensure people can make informed decisions and feel free from

Improving the accessibility of standard information
documents is vitally important.  Removing jargon, keeping the language
simple, developing Easy Read, etc., all assist staff through education and
awareness-raising and are the foundation of good accessibility. The following
‘Top Tips’ are intended to support the organisation and our staff/mentees to
make their information and communication more accessible and inclusive. 

  • Clear
    face-to-face communication. 
  • Printed
    information provided in an accessible format i.e. Language of choice or
    easy read.
  • Key
    Word signing systems such as Makaton and Signalong

People are treated as individuals and not discriminated
against in respect of their protected characteristics and this will be
supported by staff training, awareness and ongoing review of our policies and

Protected Characteristic: Definitions


This means a person or persons belonging to a particular age
group. An age group includes people of the same age and people of a particular
range of ages. Where people fall in the same age group, they share the
protected characteristics of age. 

The Equality Act 2010 protects people of all ages. However,
different treatment because of age is not unlawful direct or indirect
discrimination if it can be justified. i.e. if it can be demonstrated as a
proportionate means of meeting a legitimate aim. Age is the only “Protected
Characteristic” that allows employers to justify direct discrimination.


Within the Equality Act 2010t, a person has a disability if
they have a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial
and long-term adverse effect on their ability to perform normal day-to-day
activities. For the Act, these words have the following meanings:

Substantial means more than minor or trivial.

Long-term means that the effect of the impairment has
lasted or is likely to last for at least twelve months (special rules are
covering recurring or fluctuating conditions).

Normal day-to-day activities include everyday things
like eating, washing, walking and going shopping.

People who have had a disability in the past that meets this
definition are also protected by the Act.

The Act puts a duty on you as an employer to make reasonable
adjustments for your staff to help them overcome the disadvantage resulting
from an impairment (e.g. by providing assistive technologies to help visually
impaired staff to use computers effectively).

The Act includes protection from discrimination arising from
disability. This states that it is discrimination to treat a disabled person
unfavourably because of something arising from or in consequence of their
disability (e.g. a tendency to make spelling mistakes arising from dyslexia).
This type of discrimination is unlawful where the employer or other person
acting on behalf of the employer knows, or could reasonably be expected to
know, that the person has a disability. This type of discrimination is only
justifiable if the employer can show that it is a proportionate means of
achieving a legitimate aim.

Disabled people are also protected from indirect
discrimination. This means that a job applicant or employee could claim that a
particular rule or requirement an employer has in place disadvantages persons with
a disability. Unless this can be justified, it would be unlawful.

The Act also includes a provision that makes it unlawful,
except in certain circumstances, for employers to ask questions about a
candidate’s health before offering them work. 

Progressive conditions are considered to be a disability

There are additional provisions relating to people with
progressive conditions. People with HIV cancer or multiple sclerosis are
protected by the Act from the point of diagnosis. People with some visual impairments
are automatically deemed to be disabled. Where people share the same
disability, they share the protected characteristics of disability.

Gender Reassignment

This is defined by the Equality Act 2010 as when a person
has proposed, started or completed a process to change their sex. A transsexual
person has the protected characteristics of gender reassignment.

A woman making the transition to be a man and a man making
the transition to be a woman both share the characteristic of gender
reassignment, as does a person who has only just started the process of
changing their sex and a person who has completed the process.  Another
example would be a person taking steps to identify as non-binary.  We do
not discriminate against any person on the grounds of their gender, including
whether a person is intersex, non-binary or

At present, the Gender Recognition Act of 2004 allows people
to gain full recognition of their new gender. This legal recognition enables
people to obtain a new birth certificate that shows their new gender allowing
them to adopt almost all the legal rights which are given to that sex,
including equal marriage rights.

Once a trans person has received a Gender Recognition
Certificate they are able to change their birth certificate and are treated as
that gender. A Gender Recognition Certificate exists solely for the purpose of
changing the person’s birth certificate and the act specifies that it is
unlawful to request to see a Gender Recognition Certificate for any other means.
As a professional, it is also unlawful to disclose that a person has or has
applied for a Gender Recognition Certificate except in very exceptional
circumstances (such as medical emergencies or where the information is
essential for investigating a crime).

Marriage and Civil Partnership

This refers to people who have the common characteristics of
being married or of being civil partners. A heterosexual man and a heterosexual
woman who are married to each other and a man and another man who are civil
partners and a woman and another woman who are civil partners all share the
protected characteristic of marriage and civil partnership.

  • People
    who are not married or have civil partners do not have this protected
  • A
    person who is engaged to be married is not married and therefore does not
    have this protected characteristic.
  • A
    divorcee or a person whose civil partnership has been dissolved is not
    married or in a civil partnership and therefore does not have this
    protected characteristic.

Pregnancy and Maternity

An employee remains protected in their employment during the
period of the pregnancy and any statutory maternity leave to which they are
entitled. This is separate from protection on grounds of sex and discrimination
in connection with pregnancy and maternity would be brought under this ground.
It is unlawful to treat an employee unfavourably because of any period of
absence due to pregnancy-related illness.


For The Act ‘race’ includes nationality and ethnic or
national origins. People which have or share characteristics, of colour
nationality or ethnic or national origins can be described as belonging to a
particular racial group. Examples include:

  • Colour
    includes black or white.
  • Nationality
    includes being a British, Australian or Swiss Citizen.
  • Ethnic
    or national origins include being from a Roma background or of Chinese
  • A
    racial group could be ‘Black Britons’ which would encompass those people
    who are both black and who are British citizens.

Religion or Belief

This covers people with religious or philosophical beliefs.
To be considered a religion within the meaning of the Act, it must have a clear
structure and belief system. The Act includes the following examples: the Baha
‘I’ faith, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism,
Rastafarianism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.

To be considered a philosophical belief for the Act, it must

“Genuinely held; be a belief and not an opinion or
viewpoint; be a belief as to a weighty and substantial aspect of human life and
behaviour; attain a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and
importance; and be worthy of respect in a democratic society, compatible with
human dignity and not conflict with the fundamental rights of others”

The Act cites as examples of philosophical beliefs, humanism
and atheism.

A cult involved in illegal activities would not satisfy
these criteria nor would allegiance to a particular football team.

People who are of the same religion or belief share the
protected characteristic of religion or belief.

Ethical Veganism

In January 2020 an employment tribunal found that ethical
veganism was a philosophical belief and therefore comes under the scope of the
legal protection of the Equality Act 2010. Ethical veganism is not just about
choices of diet, but rather is where the person has chosen to live, as far as
possible, without the use of animal products – for example in what they wear,
what personal care products they use and in their hobbies. 


For the Act, sex means being a man or a woman. Men share sex
characteristics with other men and women with other women.

Sexual Orientation

This is defined in the Act as a person’s sexual orientation

  • Peopleof the same sex as him or her (in other words the person is a gay man or alesbian).
  • Peopleof the opposite sex from him or her (the person is heterosexual).
  • Peopleof both sexes (the person is bisexual)

The list for sexual orientation can be extended to include:

  • Biromantic– a person who experiences romantic attraction to more than one gender but
    little or no sexual attraction
  • Demisexual– a person who only experiences sexual attraction to people they have a
    close emotional connection with.
  • Pansexual– a person of any gender who is attracted to people of all genders.
  • Questioning– a person who is uncertain about and/or exploring their own sexual
    orientation (and /or gender identity).

People sharing a sexual orientation mean that they are of
the same sexual orientation and therefore share the characteristics of sexual

We do not discriminate on the grounds of any form of sexual

Types of Discrimination

Direct Discrimination

Direct discrimination occurs when someone is treated less
favourably than another person because of a “Protected Characteristic” they
have or are thought to have (see perception discrimination below), or because
they associate with someone who has a “Protected Characteristic” (see
discrimination by association below).

Example: Paul, a senior manager, turns down Angela’s
application for promotion to a supervisor position. Angela, who is a lesbian,
learns that Paul did this because he believes that the team, she applied to
manage is homophobic. Paul thought that Angela’s sexual orientation would
prevent her from gaining the team’s respect and managing them effectively. This
is direct sexual orientation discrimination against Angela.

Discrimination by Association

This applies to all characteristics apart from
marriage/civil partnership. This is direct discrimination against an individual
because they associate with another person who possesses a “Protected

Example: June works as a project manager and is
looking forward to a promised promotion. However, after she tells her boss that
her mother, who lives at home, has had a stroke, the promotion is withdrawn.
This may be discrimination against June because of her association with a
disabled person.

Perception Discrimination

This applies to all characteristics apart from
marriage/civil partnership. This is direct discrimination against an individual
because others think they possess a particular “Protected Characteristic”. It
applies even if the person does not possess that characteristic.

Example: Jim is 45 years old but looks much younger.
Many people assume that he is in his mid-20s. He is not allowed to represent
his organisation at an international meeting because the Managing Director
thinks that he is too young. Jim has been discriminated against on the
perception of a “Protected Characteristic”.

Indirect Discrimination

Indirect discrimination can occur when you have a condition,
rule, policy or even a practice in your organisation that applies to everyone
but particularly disadvantages people who share a “Protected Characteristic”.
Indirect discrimination can be justified if you can show that you acted
reasonably in managing your organisation, i.e. that it is “a proportionate
means of achieving a legitimate aim.” A legitimate aim might be any lawful
decision you make in running your organisation, but if there is a
discriminatory effect, the sole aim of reducing costs is likely to be unlawful.

Being proportionate essentially means being fair and reasonable,
including showing that you’ve looked at “less discriminatory” alternatives to
any decision you make.

Example: A small finance organisation needs its staff
to work late on a Friday afternoon to analyse stock prices in the American
finance market. The figures arrive late on Friday because of the global time
differences. During the winter some staff would like to be released early on a
Friday afternoon to be home before sunset – a requirement of their religion.
They propose to make the time up later during the remainder of the week.

The organisation is not able to agree to this request
because the American figures are necessary to carry on the business, they need
to be worked on immediately and the organisation is too small to have anyone
else able to do the work.

The requirement to work on Friday afternoon is not unlawful
indirect discrimination as it meets a legitimate business aim and there are no
alternative means available.

Harassment is “unwanted conduct related to a
relevant “Protected Characteristic”, which has the purpose or effect of
violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile,
degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.”

Harassment applies to all Protected Characteristics except
for pregnancy and maternity, and marriage and civil partnership. Employees will
now be able to complain of behaviour they find offensive even if it is not
directed at them, and the complainant need not possess the relevant
characteristic themselves. Employees are also protected from harassment because
of perception and association.

Example 1: Paul is disabled and is claiming
harassment against his line manager after she frequently teased and humiliated
him about his disability. Richard shares an office with Paul and he too is
claiming harassment, even though he is not disabled, as the manager’s behaviour
has also created an offensive environment for him.

Example 2: Steve is continually being called gay and
other related names by a group of employees at his work. Homophobic comments
have been posted on the staff notice board about him by people from this group.
Steve was recently physically pushed to the floor by one member of the group
but is too scared to take action. Steve is not gay but heterosexual;
furthermore, the group know he isn’t gay. This is harassment because of sexual

Victimisation occurs when an employee/mentee
is treated badly because they have made or supported a complaint; raised a
grievance under the Equality Act; or are suspected of doing so. An
employee is not protected from victimisation if they have maliciously made or
supported an untrue complaint.

There is no longer a need to compare the treatment of a
complaint with that of a person who has not made or supported a complaint under
the Act.

Example: Anne makes a formal complaint against her
manager because she feels that she has been discriminated against because of
her marriage. Although the complaint is resolved through the organisation’s
grievance procedures, Anne is subsequently ostracised by her colleagues,
including her manager. She could claim victimisation.

Pregnancy and Maternity

People who are pregnant are protected against unfair
workplace practices because of their pregnancy.

Example: Lydia is pregnant and works at a call
centre. The manager disciplines her for taking too many toilet breaks as they
would any other member of staff, despite knowing that she is pregnant. This is
discrimination because of pregnancy and maternity, as this characteristic does
not require normal comparison or treatment with other employees.

Recruitment & Selection 

The organisation practices an equal opportunities policy and
wishes to recruit and employ those people who are best suited for the vacancies
for which they have applied, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, religion
and belief, race, disability, maternity and pregnancy, age, gender
reassignment, marriage and civil partnership. This will include making
reasonable adjustments for interviews for disabled candidates. 

To monitor the equal opportunities policy all applications
(and their ultimate selection or rejection) are thoroughly reviewed.

Please refer to the separate Recruitment and Selection

Monitoring and Audit 

Equality and Diversity will be monitored under our
Governance and Quality Management procedures. This will include audits of our
processes which will review:

  • Policiesand Procedures at least annually 
  • Recruitmentrecords 
  • PrintedInformation
  • QualityQuestionnaires (service users, families, staff and widerstakeholders) 
  • Complaints 
  • Training& Competency assessments 

Data from monitoring and audit will be analysed to identify
themes or trends which will form a service improvement plan if required. This
is our commitment to the principles of continuous improvement.

Staff must be aware of the changes in the act and their role
concerning service users and colleagues. Within the social care sector,
services are often provided which are of a sensitive and private nature. Staff
must be made aware of the cultural and ethnic needs of the service users in the
delivery of care to the individual concerned.

Note: This organisation is aware of the specific
guidance which is now available to small businesses via the Equality and Human
Rights website. Under their “Advice and Guidance” heading there are now
specific guidance notes which assist small businesses and are example led for
different situations. This advice and guidance are aimed at all service
providers and include guidance about ISSP.

As we provide services through a website such as direct
marketing or advertising, we are known as an Information Society Service
Provider (ISSP).

This organisation takes advice and guidance regarding
discriminatory advertising seriously and regularly reviews any marketing or
advertising on its website.

Related Policies 

Adult Safeguarding

Equal Opportunities

Dignity and Respect 

Female Genital Mutilation

Maternity, Paternity, Adoption and Shared Leave

Meeting Needs

Recruitment and Selection

Religion and Belief


Social Inclusion

Related Guidance

Equality Act Codes of Practice: 

Protected Characteristics: 

Discrimination: Your Rights:

The Human Rights Act: 

The Gender Recognition Act 2004: 

Skills for Care Equality and Diversity: 

SCIE Equality, Diversity and Human Rights: 

Report Hate Crime:

The Vegan Society: Supporting Veganism in the Workplace
Guide to Employers:

Date Reviewed: 11 APRIL 2023

Person responsible for updating this policy: [Jabu

Next Review Date: 11 April 2024

Part Two of this policy is intended as an aide-mémoire
for staff who are involved in meeting the needs of any ethnic minority group,
it is not exhaustive 

Guidance on the cultural and ethnic needs of service users
should be met in a way that offers privacy, dignity and respect. The attached
notes should be the first steps in guiding staff to meet this aim. Further
information should be sought where appropriate. The information is set out in
such a way that the information can be placed in the service user’s file. The Human
Rights Act 1998
and its Articles are considered to be part of the basis for
the Equality Act 2010.



African-Caribbean Culture


The term ‘African Caribbean’ derives from the fact that many
Caribbean people regard themselves as Africans, their ancestors having been
forced out of Africa and transported to the West Indies to work as slaves.
There are many different cultural influences within African Caribbean people as
well as the West Indies. The Caribbean islands have been invaded and controlled
by various European countries such as France, Britain and Spain.

During the 1950’s Britain suffered labour shortages, and as
a result, actively encouraged Caribbean people to come to Britain to work. Many
of these people have British passports and British citizenship as a result of
British colonial governance. Although there are a variety of African
communities within Britain, the majority are from the Caribbean.


The European influences on the islands resulted in different
languages being spoken, as African slaves were not permitted to speak their
language. The three main ones are English, Spanish and French. There are, in
addition to these main languages, dialects have evolved over the years. Patois
(pronounced pat-wa) and Creole are two such dialects and are languages
in themselves. Patois is believed to have developed through the African slaves
wanting to talk without their owners understanding them. Both Patois and Creole
are continually developing and are used widely within communities. Most
Caribbean people living in Britain who originated from countries that are
former British colonies speak English.


The majority of the Caribbean community within Britain are
Christians and many attend traditional mainstream Christian churches.
Historically many black people were not welcomed into the traditional places of
worship, and a preference developed for Evangelical and Pentecostal churches.
Other religions include Seventh Day Adventists, Islam and Hinduism.

Colonization of the Caribbean islands in the 17th
and 18th centuries led to the oppression of the Caribbean people. In
an attempt to restore African identity, pride and dignity, the Rastafarian
culture developed. Within Rastafarianism, there is a strong emphasis on living
in harmony with the natural world. Many Rastafarians abstain from taking
alcohol and tobacco. Islam is also a major religion in Africa.

Personal Care and Hygiene

Hair care is particularly important as African hair needs
regular specialised care and attention. Washing hair can cause shrinkage, and
aggressive drying may break hair. Generally, time is taken to grease, relax and
brush hair to maintain it.

Some difficulties may be encountered around shaving due to
the thickness of facial hair and there may be particular preferences of shaving

Implications for Care

  • Service
    providers should not assume an African Caribbean’s cultural needs and an
    individual profile should be drawn up.
  • Many
    service users may speak English along with cultural variations, and
    awareness of this is necessary.
  • Preferences
    of worship need to be respected.
  • Extended
    family and members of the community may play important roles to service
    users; these contacts should be identified and included, if necessary, in
    meetings, celebrations, and gatherings.
  • Strict
    observation and care should be taken over the choice, storage, preparation
    and serving of foods.
  • Personal
    care and hygiene are very important and will need specialised products,
    and additional time is allowed.
  • Specialised
    hair products should be made available.
  • Time
    should be provided for greasing and plaiting hair.
  • Moisturising
    and cleanliness are important parts of daily routines for both men and
  • Hair
    and beards are not generally cut.
  • There
    may be a preference for same-sex carers, as dressing and undressing in
    front of people of the opposite sex may be seen as inappropriate.


Small groups of Buddhists have arrived in Britain over the
centuries from Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma. Indian Buddhists and the Hong
Kong Chinese came mainly through the new Commonwealth migrations in the 1950s
and 1960s. Refugees from Tibet and Vietnamese Buddhists arriving in the 1960s
and 1970s have further expanded the number of Buddhists in Britain.

Buddhism was founded on the teachings of SiddhārthaGuatama
(also known as Gautama Buddha), a prince in India who left a life of luxury at
the age of 29 to embark upon a spiritual quest to understand and alleviate
suffering. Whilst meditating he reached enlightenment and became Buddha (the
enlightened one). He travelled and taught what he had learnt. Buddha
rediscovered the dharma (teachings) and is therefore seen as a guide
since he did not claim to have written them himself.

Buddhists claim to have found those teachings valid for
themselves and achieve them through developing qualities of kindness and
awareness, which brings about freedom from pain and suffering, and the ability
to help others do the same.

The Five Precepts are the basic rules of living for
Buddhists and include the intention to refrain: from harming living beings,
taking what is not given, sexual misconduct and misuse of the senses, harmful
speech, and drinking or drugs.

In Buddhist teachings, the Noble Eightfold Path is the way
to overcome unsatisfactoriness (dukkha) and each Buddhist aspires to follow it.
It includes right understanding, right intention, right speech, right action,
right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.

Meditation plays a central role in Buddhist practice. There
are two main schools of thought, Theravada and Mahayana although there are many
Buddhist traditions, influenced by ethnic origins, schools of thought, and


In Britain, the vast majority of Buddhists speak English and
a variety of languages that reflect their origins. A Buddhist temple or
monastery can take many forms and reflects the diversity of the culture. They
range from ornate buildings to stark simplistic rooms, large buildings to a
room in the home. Despite this, there are common features and each usually
contains a statue of Buddha and a characteristic form of Buddha architecture.

A temple is commonly used for religious observance and

All schools within Buddhism use candles (symbolising the
light that the teachings bring to the world); carry out the offering of food,
flowers (symbolising impermanence), incense (symbolic of devotion) and water (representing
bathing) along with chanting and meditation. This takes different forms within
each group though.

A small shrine to the Buddha is often found within a
Buddhist home and contains a statue of Buddha usually centrally placed,
incense, flowers and candles.


Buddhism emphasises the avoidance of killing intentionally,
however, there are a variety of different practices within the traditions of
Buddhism. Some observe vegetarianism, while others do not. The precept of right
livelihood excludes trading in flesh and this is not accepted.

The degree to which dietary requirements are adhered to
varies in the community.

Buddhists prefer to wash their private areas after using the
toilet and usually prefer showers to baths.

A Buddhist may refrain from taking medication including
painkillers in an attempt to ensure clarity of mind and the ability to
meditate. Prayers are said both at the time of death and afterwards.

Main Festivals

The Buddhist festivals are based on the lunar calendars of
the countries concerned. Some of the festivals vary according to different
schools of thought and national origin. The main festivals include

Uposatha Days – These are observed at full and new
moons and on days halfway through the lunar fortnight. Usually observed through
a visit to the monastery or temple to pray and study.

Parinirvana (February) – Commemorating the passing of

Buddha’s Birthday – Celebrating the birth of Buddha
usually consists of a festival of flowers. Water or sweet tea is ceremonially
poured over a statue of the infant Buddha.

Wesak or Buddha Day (May) – Occurs on the full moon
in May and commemorates the birth, Enlightenment, and Parinirvana of Buddha.
Mahayana Buddhists celebrate these three events on different dates which are
also known as Buddha Day in the West.

Poson (June) – Celebrate Emperor Asoka bringing the
dharma to Sri Lanka and the conversion to Buddhism.

The Rains Retreat (June/July – September/October)
Theravadin Buddhist Monks and Nuns observe this retreat for three months where
they remain in one place except for emergencies. Special service days are held
to mark the beginning and end.

Asalha or Dharmachakra Day (July/August)
Anniversary of the Buddha’s first sermon known as the Turning of the Wheel of
the Law, celebrated by Theravadin and Western Buddhists.

Kathina Day (October/November) – Celebrated by
Theravadins and follows the Rains Retreat either on its last day or within one
month. Monks and nuns are presented with the cloth that is made into a monk’s
robe that day.

Samgha Day (November) – Celebration of the spiritual
community of all Buddhists, usually observed by Western Buddhists by offering
flowers, candles and incense.

Enlightenment Day (December) – Mahayana Buddhist
celebrate the Enlightenments of Buddha.

New Year – Not usually a religious celebration,
however, it is a major festival for Buddhists and occurs on different dates
depending on the country.

Padmasambhava Day – Occurs every Tibetan month.
Tibetan Buddhists celebrate the founder of Buddhism in Tibet.

Implications for Care

  • Service
    providers should not assume a Buddhist’s cultural needs, and an individual
    profile should be drawn up.
  • Dietary
    requirements will vary, and individuals will need to be asked their
  • Space
    may need to be made for personal shrines.
  • An
    area of calm and quietness may also need to be allocated for meditation
  • Medication
    should not be administered without explicit consent.
  • Washing
    facilities will need to be available for use after using the toilet.

Chinese Culture


Chinese culture is rich and diverse and includes beliefs,
relationships, medicines, language and many other aspects of life.

Across Britain, the Chinese community is relatively
dispersed and isolated. In the main conurbations, there can be significant
communities (e.g. the Chinatowns in London and Manchester). In other towns and
cities, the Chinese community can be relatively small. A significant percentage
of the Chinese community work in the catering and restaurant trades. This means
their work involves anti-social working hours, further compounding isolation.


The two most well-known Chinese languages are Mandarin
(spoken in Northern China) and Cantonese (spoken in Southern China). However,
there are many other language groups and dialects. All Chinese speakers have
the same written language, but a Mandarin speaker would not be able to
verbalise with a Cantonese speaker (unless the conversation was written down).

The written form of Chinese is considered complex, and
historical events have meant that literacy in China has only in the recent past
achieved above 80%. The Chinese communities in Britain are likely to be
literate but similarly to the rest of the population, there may be individuals
who cannot read or write.


Spirituality is a strong feature of Chinese culture, and
subsequently, faith continues to be an important aspect of life for many people
in the Chinese community in Britain.

Confucianism is a framework of ethics and
values―though sometimes described as a religion―that originated with the
teachings of Confucius around 2,500 years ago. It is concerned with
relationships and obligations. Confucianism establishes the importance of
showing respect to individuals who have higher social status whilst conveying
the obligation that falls on those who are socially more senior. Such
relationships include those between a mother and child, husband and wife, older
brother and younger brother, ruler and subject etc.

Taoism seeks to promote inner peace and
harmony. The word Tao could be translated as “the way.” Taoism has various
interpretations or branches. The more philosophical approach encourages
individuals to shun earthly ways and to focus on the oneness of life.

Other interpretations of Taoism encourage people to pursue
good deeds, which are rewarded with happiness, whilst shunning bad deeds, which
result in punishment (pain and suffering). Both Taoism and Confucianism
reinforce the Chinese values of collectivism and community (both family and

Buddhism ism first entered China about 1,900
years ago. The main Buddhist school in China is Mahayana. Aspects of Mahayana
Buddhism include belief in repetitive prayers, heaven and deities who can help
people gain salvation.

Christianity and Islam

Both of these religions are evangelical, and so have
extended into China. In the Chinese community in Britain, some Chinese people
joined Chinese Christian churches to overcome their sense of isolation. About a
quarter of Chinese people in Britain are Christians.

Death and Funerals

When a person is near death preparations for their funeral
may well start, e.g. ordering a coffin. The social status of the person who is
dying or has died will influence the funeral arrangements. If an older person
has died then the funeral rites must convey respect. This could entail the
family going into debt. If a young adult has died then traditionally the parent
cannot offer prayers; only children can perform this rite. In line with this,
older members of a family will wash them and dress them in their best clothes.
Once the body is placed in the coffin it is not sealed until after the wake.

Family members will gather, traditionally dressed in black,
blue or white depending on their particular relationship to the deceased. Close
relatives will express their emotions often by crying and wailing.

Incense is often burned and prayers spoken, with verses
drawn from Buddhist or Taoist scripture read out if the family are followers of
those faiths.

The wake will last at least a day, sometimes longer. At the
end of the wake, the coffin is sealed and taken to the cemetery for burial. The
family members will follow the coffin to the cemetery. Burial is preferred,
although cremation does occur in the Chinese community in Britain, partly for
reasons of cost. Traditionally the period of mourning lasts for a hundred days.


China adopted the Gregorian calendar early in the 20th
Century. However, the Chinese New Year is still calculated using the old lunar

Chinese New Year (Late January to Early February)
Houses are cleaned and decorated; incense is burned. On New Year’s Eve,
families gather and share a meal. At midnight fireworks are let off.

Qing Ming (Early April) – It is a time to show
respect for ancestors. Graves of relatives will be visited and tended.

ZhongQiu (Late September/Early October) – Families
gather and celebrate with a variety of food traditionally associated with this

Other festivals are also celebrated and these could include
festivals associated with faiths e.g. Buddhist festivals.

Food and Diet

The Chinese diet is very different from traditional English
cuisine. Rice or noodles are stapled aspects of most if not all, meals. A
diverse range of meats and seafood could be eaten, but personal choices based
on lifestyle or faith will mean individuals may not eat certain meats. Some
Buddhists and Taoists are vegetarians. Nearly all vegetables are cooked;
uncooked foods such as salads are Western, not Chinese. Many Chinese prefer
boiled water that is left to cool rather than cold water. Chopsticks and a
spoon (for soup) are still commonly used.

Personal Care

Physical modesty is very important. Cross-gender contact is
generally avoided except between husband and wife.

An older person who has personal care needs is likely to
feel most at ease if their daughter provides the care. For many older people in
the Chinese community, this is not possible due to family members working long
hours or families being dispersed.

Cleanliness is very important to Chinese people. Some
Chinese people dislike baths and would prefer body washes or the use of warm
running water.

Medicine and Health

Traditional Chinese medicine and health treatments such as
acupuncture are well established. Chinese older people may rely almost
exclusively on the diagnosis and treatment identified by a Chinese medical
practitioner. Family remedies may also be employed.

Younger Chinese adults may blend the use of NHS resources
and traditional Chinese medicine.

Implications for Care

  • Personal
    care needs to be provided in a manner that upholds individual dignity.
  • Providing
    an acceptable diet is crucial to the person’s sense of health and
    well-being. This includes drinks provided for them.
  • When
    individuals are ill, they may prefer to access Chinese medical
    practitioners rather than NHS resources.
  • Some
    Chinese service users will have significant support from family and many
    family members may visit them, especially for festivals.
  • Some
    Chinese service users are very isolated and may feel a mix of emotions
    about relying on services.



Christianity is the largest single religion in Britain.
Missionaries from continental Europe introduced Christianity to the British
Isles during the first centuries of the Common Era. Christianity was adopted by
the Roman Empire in the fourth century, and owing to the geographic scope of
the empire, Christianity became a widespread community. The practices and
interpretations of Christianity have diverged over its history, and today the
three largest groups are Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant.
Various denominations are considered Protestant, including Baptists, Anglican,
Methodist, Reformed and Lutheran. Additionally, there are significant
Pentecostal and Evangelical churches.


Most Christians in Britain speak English, although other
languages may also be spoken as indicative of the international nature of the


Christianity is a religion based on the belief that there is
one God who created heaven and Earth. Religion is directly and indirectly
influenced by the teachings and traditions within Judaism. Christians believe
that God came down from heaven to Earth through the incarnation and took the
form of a living Christ (Messiah), Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus is regarded as
fully human and fully divine without sin. There are different names for him and
these include: “Son of God”, “Son of Man”, “Christ”, “Jesus Christ”, “Saviour”
and “Word of God”.

The Bible is the Christian holy book and is divided into two
main sections known as the Old and New Testament (covenants). The Old Testament
covers the period before Christ, whilst the New Testament is about the time of
Christ, the period after his death and his teachings. These scriptures are
central to the life of all Christians although their interpretation varies
within the different practices of Christianity.

Christians consider the purpose of life to be to live
according to the model of Jesus’ life, which is characterised by sacrificial,
and self-giving love. Without the power of God, it is believed that human
beings are enslaved to sin. Those who believe in God and Jesus are saved from
their sin (salvation) and will join God in heaven.

Some Christians believe that their faith in God is
continually tested with temptation and that Jesus was sent to die for them to
save them from sin; others believe that doing good deeds and helping others is
the basis of salvation and passage to heaven, and others believe that good
deeds and faith in God will bring salvation.

A person’s entry and acceptance of the Christian way of life
is marked by their baptism or Christening. This ceremony occurs at different
times in a Christian’s life depending on the tradition followed. For example,
within the Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox churches the baptism of a
person occurs when they are a baby or infant; within the Baptist and
Pentecostal movements, baptism takes place when the person can make a personal confession
of the Christian faith.

Within the different traditions, a later ceremony takes
place when the person is of an age to be able to confirm their faith. This
ceremony varies within the different traditions but generally completes
initiation into the way of life and the community. Within the Roman Catholic
community, it is known as confirmation, and within Orthodox practices, it is
known as chrismation.

Christians worship together or individually at home, at
school, or in a community hall. Where groups gather to worship this is called a
‘church’, and the buildings in which these take place are called churches.
Christians worship and pray individually, and some will say prayers before
sleeping and upon waking. It is customary to attend church regularly. The holy
day, known as the Sabbath, is for most Christians on Sunday, and many will
visit the church on this day. However, for Seventh-Day Adventists the Sabbath
begins at sundown on Friday, and they attend church on Saturday. The cross and
the crucifix are symbols of the suffering of Jesus and some Christians have
these within their homes. Christians may also have images of the Virgin Mary
who gave birth to Jesus.

Food Preferences

There are no specific dietary requirements; however,
personal choice and preference (i.e. vegetarian) may mean that certain foods
may not be acceptable to an individual. Many Christians will eat fish on Friday
each week in honour of Christ’s death. Wine is used in religious ceremonies and
is blessed. This blessed wine is seen to be sacred and different from alcohol
for everyday consumption. In some churches, any other alcohol is not permitted,
whilst others are alcohol-free environments.

Some Christians will say a brief prayer or give thanks to
God for the food before eating.

The period of Lent, which leads up to Easter, is for some
Christians a time of fasting to mark the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert on a
spiritual journey. During this time abstinence from some foods and/or luxuries
may be observed.

Personal Care and Hygiene

Dressing and undressing may be particularly embarrassing,
and a choice of same-sex carers may be preferred. Jewellery is often worn as a
symbol of the Christian faith.


There are clear guidelines within the Old Testament about
behaviour, which are known as the Ten Commandments. These relate to respecting
neighbours and sexual and marital relationships. Women are seen to be equal;
however, as in most societies, gender roles are clearly defined. There is a
strong tradition of social concern within the Christian community emanating
from the teachings of Jesus and found within the Bible.

Some Christians may find comfort in being read passages from
the Bible before dying. As with most religions and cultures, the death of a
family member is subject to a period of mourning. There is usually a funeral
service with prayers and hymns, and the body is either cremated or buried.
After the service, there may be a wake where family, friends and members of the
community gather. Refreshments are normally served at this gathering. Family
and community members may also visit the bereaved family to offer condolences
and pay their respects.

Catholics believe in a final confession before dying and
therefore a priest is called to anoint the dying person, to hear the final
confession and to pray for the person so that they can make peace with God. For
other Christians, a priest or minister may be called upon for similar reasons.

Main Festivals

The Western Christian churches use the Gregorian calendar,
but some festivals are fixed according to the lunar calendar. Most of the main
festivals relate to the significant events in the life of Jesus and these can
vary within different traditions.

Advent – Celebration of Jesus’ “coming” into the
world and his “second coming” at the end of time. This four-week-long solemn
preparatory season traditionally begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas.
Advent also marks the start of the Christian year.

Immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (8th
– Roman Catholics celebrate the belief that Mary, the Mother of
Jesus was herself conceived free from original sin to bear Jesus.

Christmas (25th December) – Celebrating
the birth of Jesus. Many visit a church and share a special meal with family
and friends, exchanging gifts and glad tidings.

Epiphany (6th January) – Commemorates the
three wise men visiting Jesus when newborn, also known as the Twelfth Night of
Christmas. Some traditions believe it marks the end of the Christmas period
whilst others believe it is the true date of the birth of Jesus.

Shrove Tuesday (February/March) – Also widely known
as Pancake Day, this marks the last day before the start of Lent. There are
various traditions and cultural customs attached to this day such as the
confession of sins before Lent or the using up of food before fasting.

Ash Wednesday (February/March) – The first day of
Lent commemorates the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness. Christians may
attend church, where their forehead is marked with ash as a sign of mortality
and penitence before God. Within the Catholic tradition, it is a day of fasting
and abstinence.

Lent (February – March/April) – This is forty days,
excluding Sundays, between Ash Wednesday and the Saturday before Easter. It is
a preparation time before Easter and many will abstain from certain luxuries or

The Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary (25th
– This celebrates the announcement by the angel Gabriel to Mary that
she is to give birth to a son called Jesus.

Mothering Sunday (March) – This is the fourth Sunday
of Lent and is also widely known as Mother’s Day. Originally it was to
commemorate the idea of Mother Church. It is now a popular occasion upon which
to recognise and thank mothers for all that they do. Many spend time with their
mothers and special meals are eaten.

Passion Sunday (March) – The fifth Sunday in Lent,
when Christians begin to concentrate their thoughts on the significance of the
passion or suffering of Jesus.

Palm Sunday (March/April) – This is the first day of
Holy Week and is one week before Easter. On this day Christians are often given
pieces of palm leaf in the form of a cross to commemorate Jesus entering
Jerusalem days before his crucifixion.

Holy Week (March/April) – The last week of Lent is
dedicated to remembering the suffering and death of Jesus.

Maundy Thursday (March/April) – The Thursday in Holy
Week commemorates the day that Jesus instituted the Holy Communion.

Good Friday (March/April) – The Friday of Holy Week
commemorates the day of Jesus’ crucifixion and most Christians will attend
solemn services recalling how he was betrayed, put on trial and killed for the
sins of all people.

Holy Saturday (March/April) – A day of prayerful
waiting and preparation for Easter. Some will attend church for the reading of
the story of creation and Jesus’ resurrection, along with the lighting of a
candle and renewal of baptismal vows.

Easter (March/April) – Commemorating the resurrection
of Jesus three days after his crucifixion. Many will attend church and receive
communion (blessed bread and wine). More secular customs include Easter eggs,
which symbolise new life. It is the central Christian festival and is full of

Ascension Day (May/June) – This is celebrated on the
fortieth day after Easter, and commemorates Jesus ascending to Heaven. Early
morning services are sometimes held on high hills to remember this day.

Pentecost (May/June) – Also known as Whit Sunday;
marks the day when Jesus’ disciples (followers) were touched by the Holy Spirit
in the form of tongues of fire and were inspired to go out and preach the
teachings of Jesus to all peoples.

All Saints Day (1st November)
Commemorates all the saints known and unknown.

There are many other Saints and Saints Days remembered by
the different traditions.

Implications for Care

  • Some
    may wish to pray soon after rising in the morning and before retiring at
    night which can be accommodated by allowing additional time.
  • Specific
    dietary requirements will need to be identified.
  • Strict
    observation and care should be taken over the choice of foods, storing,
    preparation and serving of it.
  • There
    may be a preference for same-sex carers, as dressing and undressing in
    front of strangers can be embarrassing.

Christian community life and belief vary within the
different traditions. It is always better to ask individuals what their
preferred beliefs are and which festivals are observed



The official languages of India are Hindi and English; there
are however over 100 different dialects and languages throughout India, and
most schools teach English as a second language. In Britain, many younger
Indians speak fluent English, although for some it is a second language and the
older generations may speak little or no English.


Hinduism is the main religion in India. The main principles
of Hinduism are a belief in God, prayer, rebirth, the law of action (we decide
our destiny by our past deeds), and compassion for all living things. Brahman
is the supreme spirit of creation and the creator of all Gods. Hindus believe
in one eternal God able to take any form. They do not worship the images or
forms that God takes but God itself. They believe that life is sacred and that
taking any kind of life is prohibited. A Hindu’s goal is to live a moral and
ethical life; through serving fellow men and creatures, they can realise God.
If they are not able to realise God in their lifetime, Hindus believe they are
reborn through incarnation to continue their pilgrimage. A Hindu’s path through
life is called “Dharma”. The life of a Hindu is determined by the actions of
the previous life and is known as “Karma”. It is suggested that bad behaviour
in one’s life may result in being incarnated in their next life as an insect or
as a person with a disability.

Worship can take place within the home or a temple
(“Mandir”) and is done usually once a day in the morning by one’s self. Special
religious gatherings and celebrations are communal affairs. Most Hindu families
have a sacred shrine in their house; shoes, alcohol and meat are not permitted
in this room. Orthodox Hindus do not let meat or alcohol in their home at all.
Hindu society is split into four varnas (castes) each has its own
societal roles. This caste system is defined as Brahmins (priests and teachers);
Kshatriyas (rules and warriors); Vaishyas (farmers and merchants); and Sudras

Food Preferences

Most Hindus are vegetarian and do not eat meat or animal
by-products including gelatine (often found in sweets); those that do might
still not eat beef, as the cow is regarded as a sacred animal. Strict Hindus
prefer not to eat food prepared outside of the home, as they are unsure as of
how far the food meets their requirements. The preparation and storing of
vegetarian foods will be seen as contaminated if near meat. The degree to which
these strict dietary requirements are adhered to varies amongst the community.
Fasting is a regular occurrence within Hindu culture and requires abstinence
from some or all foods. There are exemptions, which include pregnant women,
older people, people with diabetes or those of ill health. Some Hindus that eat
meat and drink alcohol may wish to abstain from these during some of the
fasting, where discretion is accepted.

Personal Care and Hygiene

Washing hands and rinsing the mouth before and after eating
is considered essential. Hindus also prefer to wash their hands in the same
room as the toilet and prefer to wash in free-flowing water rather than sitting
in a bath. Many people exclusively use their left hand to clean themselves
after using the toilet, as they eat with their right; it is seen as unclean to
use the left hand at mealtimes.


Some Hindus offer food to guests, either invited or
otherwise. No visitor should leave hungry. There are traditions as well as
religious requirements concerning diets, e.g., some Indians consider it unwise
to take the milk and citrus fruit when suffering from a cough.

If a Hindu is dying, relatives may wish to bring money and
clothes for them to touch before they distribute them to the needy. Some
relatives may wish to read to them from one of the four holy books: The
Bhagavad-Gita, The Upanishads, The Ramayana, and The Mahabharata. After death,
the body should remain covered. Relatives may wish to wash the body and put new
clothes on; traditionally this ritual is led by the eldest son of the deceased.
The mourning period begins immediately on the death of the person and runs for
12 days. During this time family members are not left alone and visitors will
visit daily to sit, chat and sing bhajans (hymns). A person is cremated in
order to release the soul from the body and allow for its reincarnation (unless
they have finally realised God). It is traditional for the body to be brought
home 1-2 hours before the cremation for family and community to pay their
respects and to allow the priest to perform the last rites.

Some Hindus wear sacred threads and jewellery, which can
have great religious significance. Traditional women’s dress is conservative –
either a sari or Punjabi suit (two-piece cotton or silk dress worn over baggy
trousers). A red dot in the middle of the forehead signifies being married.

Naming systems within Hindu culture can be complicated and
inappropriate use can cause embarrassment and show disrespect.

Main Festivals

There are many festivals within Hindu culture. The calendar
months referred to apply to the Gregorian calendar.

Shivaratri or Mahashivaratri (February/March)
Worship devoted to Lord Shiva. Some may fast. Celebrated by spending a night at
the temple chanting, singing, and pouring milk continually over the symbolic
form of Lord Shiva.

Holi (February/March) – Festival of colours
associated with Vishnu. Celebrated through the lighting of bonfires, attending
temple services, and throwing coloured water and powders over friends and

Yugadi or GuidParva (March-April) – For many Hindus,
this festival marks the New Year. Feasting and greetings are common, with the
consumption of bitter and sweet foods symbolising things in life.

Rama Navami/HariJayanti (March/April) – Celebrating
the birth of Lord Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu. Ramayana is read aloud in the
temples and some may fast.

Janmashtami (August/September) – Marks the birth of
Lord Krishna. Hindus may decorate their homes, feast and sing hymns.

Navaratri (September/October) – Celebrated
differently throughout the Hindu culture this festival lasts nine days and
celebrates the different goddesses, and good over evil. Fasting by some is
followed by feasting, dancing and storytelling.

Diwali or Deepawali (October/November) – Festival of
lights when small lanterns are lit, and cards and small sweets are exchanged.
It celebrates Lord Krishna’s victory over the demon, light over darkness, and
knowledge over ignorance. In Britain, fireworks are also used to celebrate this
festival. For some, this signifies the New Year.

Annakuta or NutanVarsh (October/November) – This
occurs the day after Diwali and large amounts of sweets and other food are
taken to the temple and offered to the deities.

Implications for Care

  • Provision
    of a shrine within rooms for individual prayer and worship may be
  • Shoes
    will need to be removed before entering a service user’s room if they have
    a shrine.
  • Always
    ask before touching or moving a service user’s shrine, this includes
  • Strict
    observation and care should be taken over the choice, storage, preparation
    and service of foods.
  • Separate
    cooking utensils and equipment should be used in preparing vegetarian
  • Use
    toilets with sinks for washing hands, whenever possible.
  • Offer
    a shower rather than a bath, if available.
  • Respecting
    elders is seen as fundamental to the Hindu culture and should be observed
    at all times
  • Some
    service users will only eat with their right hand, as it is seen as
    unclean to use the left. This should be observed if assisting.
  • Washing
    hands before and after meals is customary. If you are assisting them to
    eat using a knife and fork you should also observe the washing of hands.
  • Remember
    to present food to guests, this is customary.
  • Never
    remove threads, jewellery or symbolic dots without permission.
  • Commodes
    may not be permitted in bedrooms.
  • Clarify
    preferred terms of address with individuals.



There has been a significant Muslim culture in Britain since
the turn of the nineteenth century, which grew during the labour shortages of
the 1950s and 60s. Many of the Muslim communities within Britain have ancestral
origins in the Indo-Pakistani subcontinent, migrating either directly to
Britain directly or via migrations to East Africa and the Caribbean. Others
have their ethnic and national origins from a variety of countries such as
Malaysia, Cyprus, Iran and the Middle East. There are also indigenous Britons
who have embraced the Islamic faith.

There are two main traditions within Islam: Sunni and Shi’a.
There are various other groups, but 90% of Muslims follow the Sunni tradition.
In order to become a Muslim, a person must pronounce that there is no god
except God (Allah) and that Muhammad is his messenger. Shi’a Muslims also
include that Ali is the seal on the will of the prophet; Ali is Muhammad’s
son-in-law and is seen by Shi’a as his rightful successor.

Muhammad provided Muslims with the Shari’ah (pathway, as defined
by God) and this informs how they conduct their lives. It is concerned with
prayer, rituals, and attitudes to economics, family life, values and

Jihad is the struggle to protect, promote and live by
the messages of the Qur’an (holy book) and is central to Islam. It involves
spreading the word of Islam, promoting opportunities to practice freely,
self-discipline, and defending Islam.

In Islam, marriage and procreation are important. The
traditional role of the man is to protect and financially provide for the
females within the family. This includes his wife, children, and―where his
father has died―his mother. Muslims believe that it is a duty to marry and,
although the ideal family is formed around monogamy, Muslim men can take up to
four wives. There are strict regulations around this, including that each wife
must be treated equally both financially and socially; should be adequately
provided for; and should be in agreement of the man taking another wife. Within
Britain, polygamous marriage is not permitted, although where this has been
contracted overseas recognition can be accorded.

Modesty is important within the Muslim culture. Men should
be covered from the navel to the knees and women are required to cover the
whole body.


The British Muslim community is very diverse and there are
many languages spoken within the community. In addition to English, Arabic,
Bengali, Farsi, Gujarati, Hausa, Malay, Punjabi, Turkish and Urdu are commonly
found. The Qur’an is written in Arabic and there needs to be some understanding
of Arabic.


Islam is founded upon seven basic beliefs: in one God
(Allah), the books revealed by God, the prophets, the angels, the Day of
Judgement, life after death, and that all power belongs to God. It is
understood within Muslim culture that the purpose of human life is to exercise
authority and trust to manage the world responsibly, and to live in accordance
with God’s creative will. How each person responds to God’s will and revelation
determines their eternal destiny. It is believed that a descendant of the
prophet will come before the end of time to establish justice on earth.

In order for a Muslim to live a good and responsible life
according to Islam there are five obligations they must satisfy. These are
called the Five Pillars of Islam and consist of Shahadah: sincerely
reciting the Muslim profession of faith; Salat: performing ritual
prayers in the correct manner five times a day; Zakat: paying an alms
tax to benefit the poor and those in need; Sawm: fasting during the
month of Ramadan; and Haji: a pilgrimage to Mecca. Following the Five
Pillars provides the framework of Muslim life, binding together their everyday
activities and their beliefs; the key is that one’s faith should be evident in
their daily living.

Muslims pray five times a day, and Friday is seen as the
congregational prayer day where Muslims meet at the mosque to pray. Shoes are
removed before prayer and ritual washing (wazu) take place before
prayer. Wazu includes washing the genital area, hands, face, hair,
mouth, nose, forearms, and feet. During prayer, worshippers face Mecca (South
East). Women are not required to pray if they are menstruating, or postnatal,
and those who are not fully conscious are also exempt. A Muslim can pray in any
clean place and use a prayer mat if they cannot find a mosque.

Food Preferences

Muslims do not eat pork or pig products and will only eat
meat that is killed in accordance with Islamic law (halal). Dairy
products are acceptable, provided it is halal. No alcohol is permitted.
Fish and vegetables are permitted. Food containing animal by-products such as
animal rennet is not permitted.

The degree to which these strict dietary requirements are
adhered to varies amongst the community.

Muslims practice self-denial; they fast in the month of
Ramadan, which occurs once a year. The fasting period, lasting for 30 days,
begins at sunrise and ends at sunset, and during this time no food or drink can
be consumed. Pregnant, menstruating and breast-feeding women, people with
diabetes, people who are very ill, or older people are exempt from this.

Personal Care and Hygiene

As well as washing before prayers, Muslims prefer to wash
their private parts after using the toilets. Cleanliness is very important
within the Muslim culture, as they cannot worship if unclean. The left hand is
used for washing after the toilet and the right hand for eating meals.

Muslims may also have no pubic hair and are required to
shave to maintain it, as it is seen as being unclean. Modesty is important to
the culture and toileting is required to be done in private. Washing is
preferred under free running water. Some Muslims are circumcised at a young age
to ensure cleanliness. After menstruating, women will wash themselves to
cleanse their bodies.


Turning your back to the Qur’an is considered disrespectful,
as is passing someone reading it with your back towards it. The Qur’an is kept
above head height in most homes, and Muslims need to be clean before reading
the Qur’an and prayer.

When a Muslim is dying, relatives will recite verses from
the Qur’an to comfort them and bring them peace. At the moment of death, they
will recite a specific line of the text.

A member of the family usually washes the body after death,
and words from the Qur’an are spoken throughout this procedure. After washing,
the head is turned to face Mecca and traditional preparation of the body is
performed. There is no coffin, as the body is wrapped in linen. Muslims are
buried as soon as possible after death, usually within 24-48 hours.
Post-mortems are forbidden under Islamic law and should be avoided. The
mourning period lasts for a month. Usually, the family stay at home for three
days after the funeral, where family and friends provide food. After this
period a ceremony is held. This is repeated 40 days after the funeral and again
each year.

Main Festivals

Al Hijrah – The first day of the Muslim year, marking
the Prophet Muhammad’s migration from Mecca which led to the creation of the
Muslim community.

Ashurah – Commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Husayn;
it is held on the tenth day of the Islamic calendar and is an occasion for
“passion plays”, and ritual mourning where Shi’a Muslims identify with the pain
and suffering of Husayn.

Milad al-Nabi – The Prophet Muhammad’s birthday is
celebrated with speeches about his life. It also commemorates his death and can
be a subdued affair.

Lailat al-Baraat – Marks the night that the fate of
humankind is ordained for the next year. Prayers are said, lamps are lit at
graves, and it is a time for fasting and penitence.

Ramadan – Muslims fast from dawn till dusk for the
month of Ramadan in order to reflect their devotion to God. It is a time for
self-discipline, patience, selflessness and solidarity between Muslims.

Eid al Fitr – This festival marks the end of Ramadan
and occurs on the first day of the next month. It is a major festival in the
Muslim calendar. Gifts and charitable donations are made at this time and the
festival emphasises unity and togetherness, with often, large gatherings held
at mosques.

Eid al-Adha – This is a three-day festival and is
known as the festival of sacrifice. Muslims traditionally sacrifice an animal,
which is then distributed to the poor and shared amongst family and friends.

Implication for Care

  • Medicines
    may need to be checked for contents, as strict Muslims may only accept
    halal food and drink.
  • A
    separate prayer room may need to be provided
  • Cleanliness,
    privacy and modesty are very important. This should be observed during
    bathing and using the toilet. Pubic hair may need to be removed to
    maintain cleanliness and promote worship.
  • Strict
    observation and care should be taken over the choice, storage, preparation
    and serving of food.
  • Use
    toilets with sinks in the same room, whenever possible, so the person can
    wash their hands.
  • Offer
    showers rather than a bath, if available.
  • Some
    service users will only eat with their right hand, as it is seen as
    unclean to use the left. This should be observed if assisting.
  • Post-mortems
    are not permitted and can cause deep distress to families; should a
    post-mortem be performed all organs should be returned to the body before
    the funeral.



Jainism originates from India. Tradition claims that there
were twenty-four Tirthankara, who were born as human beings but who attained a
state of perfection through meditation and self-realisation

The Tirthankara whom we know most is Mahavir, who was the
last of the Tirthankara. Mahavir was born about 2,600 years ago and died at the
age of 72. Mahavir’s teachings have been very influential in the development of
Jainism, although Jains believe that Jainism already existed before Mahavir.
Mahavir reformed Jainism, introduced some of his own ideas and was an effective
advocate for Jainism, and impressed many people through his teaching and life.

Today, Jainism has followers across India. The exact numbers
are unknown with various estimates between half a million and 12 million

In Britain, there are about 30,000 Jains.


Jainism believes the universe and everything in it to be
eternal. The human soul is eternal but is trapped in the human body. Only
through a life that seeks to follow the three key requirements of right faith,
right knowledge, and right conduct can the soul attain liberation, and live in
total bliss (Siddhasila), at the top of the universe.

Central to correct conduct are five vows:

  • Non-violence
    – not to cause harm to any living beings.
  • Truthfulness
    – to speak the truth only.
  • Non-stealing
    – not to take anything not properly given.
  • Chastity
    – not indulge in sensual pleasures.
  • Non-possession/non-attachment
    – complete detachment from people, places and material things.

Jainism preaches a message of universal love, emphasising
that all living beings are equal and should be loved and respected. Hence women
and men are equal. Animals and insects must not be killed. Animal welfare,
vegetarianism and care of the environment are active expressions of Jain
beliefs. Jains practice fasting and self-denial of all material and sensual

Mahavir organised his followers into a four-fold order:

  • Monks
  • Nuns
  • Laymen
  • Laywomen

Monks and nuns seek to follow the five vows strictly, whilst
lay people try to follow the vows as far as their lifestyles permit.

At present, there are no monks or nuns in Britain. They can
only travel on foot, and the vast majority of monks and nuns live in India. It
is possible that a Jain who lives in Britain will decide to become a monk or
nun and so start a community here.

Jainism is known for building beautiful temples. They are
built to honour Mahavir and other teachers. Images of the Jainist teachers are
adorned with flowers and the faithful recite sacred mantras. However, Jains do
not worship God or gods. Jains accept that there are gods but do not see them
as creators or protectors. The worship of God or gods to reach salvation is
seen as futile. Each individual is responsible for their own destiny. For
laymen and women attending the temple is an important aspect of their spiritual

The combination of soul and matter produces energy (Karma),
the concept of which is important in Jainism. When the soul is engaging in
anger, deception, lust, greed etc., then Karma sticks to the soul, imprisoning
it. To be free, the soul needs to engage in confession, repentance, penance,
self-control, austerity and religious deeds. Like many world religions, there
are different branches within Jainism. The division is mainly noticeable
amongst the orders of monks and nuns. One branch of monks and nuns wears white
robes. The other branch seeks to apply an austere discipline of nakedness
(which Mahavir did for part of his life). However, even this branch of monks
tends to limit their nakedness to only the time they eat.

Food preferences

Jains take seriously the requirement not to hurt other
animals, so vegetarianism is very important. The preparation and storage of the
food are also important. Some Jains are vegans; some Jains avoid root crops
e.g. carrots. Fasting is a regular occurrence within Jain culture that can take
different forms; it may involve giving up favourite foods or eating less than
the person needs or giving up food and water completely for a period. Often
fasting takes place during one of the festivals.

Main Festivals

Mahavir Jayanti (March/April) – The celebration of
Mahavir’s birthday; processions are held and Mahavir’s message is explained to

Akshyatritiya (April/May) – On this day sugarcane
juice is ritually offered to those who have observed various types of fasts throughout
the year.

Paryusana or DaslasksanaParva (August/September)
This festival lasts between 8 and 10 days. For part of this time, Jains will
fast, some will fast for all the days, some alternate days; all will fast on
the last day. The last day is marked by asking fellow community members for
forgiveness for any wrongdoing.

Divali (October/November) – This festival is
celebrated by Hindus as well. Jainism, it marks the day that Mahavir gave his
last teaching and attained ultimate liberation. Lamps and candles are lit.
Children are often given sweets by their parents. Some Jains will fast.

KartakPurnimu (October/November) – This follows
Divali. In India, Jains may go on pilgrimage to sacred sites.

Mauna Agyaras (November/December) –A daylong
observance of fasting and silence. Jains also meditate on the five great

Implications for Care

  • Strict
    observation and care should be taken over the choice, storage and
    preparation of food.
  • A
    person’s decision to fast must be respected.
  • Attending
    a temple is an important aspect of a believer’s religious life and should
    be supported.

Jehovah’s Witnesses


The origins of Jehovah’s Witnesses can be traced back to
around 1870 in Pittsburgh, USA, where a group of people were studying the
Bible, led by Charles Russell. One question they sought to answer was when
Christ would return. Russell’s leadership resulted in the group expanding; this
necessitated an organisational structure. A governing body of twelve men, based
in Brooklyn, New York was established and continues to exercise leadership and
final decision-making. The organisation’s formal title is the ‘Watch Tower
Society’. Worldwide, there are about 6 million Jehovah’s Witnesses. In Britain,
there are about 120,000 Witnesses.


Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jehovah alone is God and
that he should be called by his name (Jehovah). Jehovah’s Witnesses believe
that Jehovah created the Earth and placed humans on it. All people, living or
dead, who accord with Jehovah’s purpose for a beautiful, inhabited Earth may
live on it forever.

Humanity is fallen (disobeys Jehovah) due to Adam and Eve
disobeying Jehovah. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jehovah created Jesus
Christ and that his life and death were paid as a ransom for obedient humans.
Witnesses believe Jesus is a lesser person than Jehovah, and do not believe in
the Holy Spirit, as Christians do.

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Christ died on a stake, not
a cross, and was then raised from the dead as an immortal spirit. Jehovah’s
Witnesses believe that 1914 is a pivotal year that marks the end of the
‘Gentile Times’ and the beginning of a transition period, from human rule to
the ‘Thousand Year Reign of Christ’.

On the last day, humans will engage in pleasure-seeking,
pursue money, lack self-control and reject goodness. It is then that Christ
will return to Earth and there will be a great war or battle, culminating in
‘Har-Magedon’ (or Armageddon). Christ will be the victor and his thousand-year
reign of peace will begin.

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that at this point about 144,000
people will join Jehovah in heaven, whilst a far larger number of people will
live peacefully on Earth. The Earth will be cleansed and beautified and people
will live forever.

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe only active Witnesses doing
Jehovah’s will, by serving the Watch Tower Society, will survive Har-Magedon.

As a result, the commitment of Jehovah’s Witness to their
beliefs is striking. Most will attend up to five devotional meetings, each an
hour in length, every week. Most Witnesses will spend ten hours a month
evangelising from door to door and there will be an expectation that Witnesses
will devote time to personal study and family study at home.

Witnesses believe everyone apart from active Witnesses will
die and not be resurrected (or recreated). Witnesses believe there is no hell,
just death, for those who are not active Witnesses.

The Watch Tower Society uses its own translation of the
Bible called the New World Translation (NWT).

Other aspects of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ beliefs include:

  • Birthdays
    should not be celebrated. The Jehovah Witnesses claim that the two
    explicit references to birthdays in the Bible are both negative and there
    is no mention of prophets, Jesus or his disciples celebrating birthdays.
  • Christmas
    is not to be celebrated, since the exact date of Jesus’ birth is not known
    (which is true). Also, the 25th of December was originally the
    festival of a Roman god (which is true) and so Witnesses argue that it is
    a pagan celebration.
  • Easter
    is not to be celebrated; since, as mentioned above, Witnesses argue that
    Jesus died on a stake, not a cross, the cross is not a visual image that
    Witnesses use.
  • Blood
    transfusions are forbidden by Jehovah. Witnesses would argue that there
    are often medical alternatives. Additionally, it is worth bearing in mind
    that many adults ignore or dismiss doctors’ advice about what is good for
    their health (e.g. smokers).

For irreligious individuals, the differences between
Christians and Jehovah’s Witnesses can seem minor. It may be surprising,
therefore, that there is a disagreement between most Christians and Jehovah’s
Witnesses; at best they view each other with indifference, and at worst see
each other as following flawed beliefs.

Implications for Care

  • Whilst
    older person who has care needs will not be as active as they used to be,
    they may well want to remain as active as they can be.
  • Discuss
    with the service user their aspirations in respect of attending weekly
    religious meetings and other religious activities (e.g. personal study
  • Discuss
    with the service user how they wish to manage days when the service
    celebrates festivals (e.g. Christmas) or marks someone’s birthday.
  • There
    may be a preference for same-sex carers as dressing and undressing in
    front of strangers can be embarrassing.



Jews have been present in Britain for centuries, with the
initial settlement occurring after the Norman Conquest. They were later
expelled and then readmitted in the 1650s. There are two main traditions within
Britain: the Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews. Sephardi Jews came originally from
Spain, Portugal and Arab countries. Ashkenazi came from Central and East
European countries. Ashkenazi Jews migrated to England for economic reasons or
else to flee from persecution in the Russian Empire, Germany and other European
countries. In addition, small numbers have arrived from India.

Like many religions, Judaism has different branches or
denominations. Most practising Jews are Orthodox; there are smaller numbers of
Conservative, Reform and Liberal Jews. In Britain, a Jewish person’s religious
lifestyle is more likely to be influenced by whether they are Orthodox,
Conservative, Reform or Liberal rather than whether they are Sephardi or


Depending on the origin of a Jewish person, and from where
they may have migrated, they will speak the regional or national language of
that country. In Britain, most speak English, although some may speak Yiddish.
Hebrew is the language of the Bible, prayer and modern Israel. It is the main
language of worship and many Jewish people are taught it from an early age.


Judaism is a religion that has been in existence for about
3,500 years. Jews believe in one God, and that God will send a Messiah; they do
not believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah. They obey the Ten Commandments
and love God through study and prayer. The teachings of the Jewish faith and
way of life are contained in the Torah, and the rabbinic interpretations are
found in the Talmud. The Bible is known as TeNakh and includes the Torah (the
five books of Moses), Nevim (prophets) and Ketuvim (other writings). The
Sabbath (holy day) begins at sunset on a Friday and ends at nightfall on a
Saturday. There are restrictions to working on the Sabbath. Orthodox Jews may
also not turn lights on or off and may use a timer. The Sabbath ends with the
lighting of a candle and a blessing for the coming week. Friday evenings and
Saturdays are times for prayer at the synagogue, overseen by the Rabbi.

Many Orthodox men will usually cover their heads. Men, and
often women―particularly Orthodox women―cover their heads when entering the
synagogue. Three daily prayers are stipulated: Shaharit (morning), Minhaha
(afternoon) and Maariv (evening). Orthodox male Jews may wear Tephilin (a small
box worn on the forehead, and left arm containing sections of the scriptures on
parchment) during their morning prayer and ArbaKanfot (a fringe, worn at all
times on a vest under their clothes)

Food Preferences

A Jewish diet has to be kosher (permitted), that is animals
humanely slaughtered by a shochet (qualified slaughterer) and according to
Jewish law. This involves the drawing of blood from any animal as part of its
preparation. Kosher meats are all sources of meat with split hooves that chew
the cud; fowl can be kosher, and the eggs from them; for fish to be kosher they
must have both fins and scales, e.g. cod. Treif (forbidden) foods include
horses, pigs, rabbits, birds of prey, and non-kosher fish including all shellfish
such as prawns, crabs etc. Fruit and vegetables are Kosher provided they are
not cooked with non-kosher ingredients.

Jewish law prohibits the mixing of milk foods with meat
food, and separate utensils and service items should be used for both items, with
a time-lapse observed between eating the two items. Fish can be served with
milk. Fish can also be served with meals that contain meat. The degree to which
these strict dietary requirements are adhered to varies amongst the community
and between individuals.

Personal Care and Hygiene

Hygiene and washing are regarded, as with other cultures, as
important. Dress codes are normally of a conservative nature when attending the
synagogue. Dressing and undressing can be viewed as embarrassing, and same-sex
carers can be preferred.


As is commonly found within many cultures, family and
community are seen as very important social structures. Men and women are seen
as equal, and gender roles are clearly defined, with women responsible for the
care of the family and the home. The doorpost of a Jewish person’s home is
often marked with a small prayer box (mezuzah). It is customary for a Rabbi and
a relative to be by the bedside of a dying person to recite prayers and provide
the opportunity for confession of their sins. Burial arrangements are usually
made through the synagogue. A group of people will prepare the body as soon as
possible after death, often reading prayers. After death, the eyes and mouth of
the person are usually closed by a close relative, the body is washed and
placed in a shroud or prayer shawl, and burial is immediate. There is a
mourning period of up to seven days where family and the community pay their
respects, bring food and ensure the family is not left alone. There are
different stages to the mourning period: firstly, the initial seven days; then
twenty-three days where life returns to normality; and finally, this is
followed by a lighter mourning period lasting eleven months.

Coffins are usually plain, and there are no flowers.
Mourners will usually fill in the grave before returning to the prayer hall.
For many, there remains a great kinship with Israel and it has great importance
and significance to the Jewish people. Jewish boys are often circumcised on the
eighth day of life. At thirteen, male Jews take on a new role within their
community and this is celebrated by way of a Barmitzvah. Some Jewish girls have
a Barmitzvah at the age of 12 or 13. Some Jewish people wear jewellery such as
the Star of David.

Main Festivals

Rosh Hashana (September/October) – The Jewish New
Year, celebrated by the blowing of a ram’s horn in the synagogue to remind
people of their sins and their spiritual awareness. No work is permitted on
this day. At home, an apple dipped in honey is eaten and an apple cake may also
be served. This is a ten-day festival and ends with Yom Kippur.

Yom Kippur – A day of atonement wherein a fast of
food and drink is observed for approximately 24/25 hours. The day is devoted to
worship and prayer, and no work is permitted.

Sukkot – The festival of Tabernacles, commemorates
the wandering of Israel’s children. Jews celebrate this day by building a
temporary hut (Sukkot) on the side of houses and synagogues. The festival also
commemorates harvest, where a palm branch, citron, willow branches, and three
myrtle branches are carried in procession around the synagogue.

Simchat Torah – Celebrates the completion and
recommencement of the annual cycle of reading from the Torah.

Pesach or Passover (March/April) – An eight-day
festival where unleavened bread is eaten to symbolise Jews leaving Egypt; the
story of Exodus is told and a special meal is taken on the first and second

Shavuot – A two-day festival commemorating the
Israelites receiving the Torah, in which harvest, olives, dates, grapes and
figs are eaten.

Implications for Care

Each householder or service user should be asked how they
want to be supported to apply their faith and culture. Below are some areas to
consider. As always there can be variation within a community.

  • Strict
    observation and care should be taken over the choice, storage, preparation
    and serving of food.
  • Bereavement
    traditions and customs should be respected.
  • Jewellery
    should not be removed without consent.
  • The
    Sabbath is the day of rest and should be respected. The Sabbath and
    festivals start on the evening of the day before.
  • In
    care homes some Jewish people may want to place a Mezuzah (small prayer
    box) on the doorpost to their room.
  • Same-sex
    carers may be preferred where personal care is required.



Rastafari is a way of life and is guided by a central
concept of peace, truth, right and love. It is named after RasTafari who became
Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia. Haile Selassie, I is recognised as Jah,
the living manifestation of God. Rastafarians believe that salvation can come
to black people only through repatriation to Africa after liberation from the
evils of the Western world.

Rastafarians often say “I” and “I” instead of “me” and “you”
to denote that God (Jah) is within all human beings.

The Bible is seen as the divine word and is interpreted
through reasoning: collective drumming, reading, prayer, studying and debate.
There are no buildings for worship (reasoning) and each individual or group is

Rastafarians believe in reincarnation and the movement of
life from one generation to the next through spiritual and genealogical
inheritance. There are no special arrangements or ceremonies following death.
The extended family and wider community are seen as the support network to help
resolve individual and family crises. The use of cannabis is understood to be
sanctioned in the Bible.

Food Preferences

Many Rastafarians are vegetarian, avoiding meat, fish and
poultry; others are vegan and will not consume any animal by-products, including
fat, milk, and gelatine. Some Rastafarians do choose to eat meat, although they
may not eat pork as it is regarded as unclean meat. The degree to which these
strict dietary requirements are adhered to varies amongst the community.

Rastafarians do not cut their hair or beards, and it needs
to be kept clean.



The British Sikh community is the largest outside of India.
Sikhism originated in Punjab, India, and was founded by Guru Nanak Dev. A
number of Sikhs settled in Britain in the 1920s and 1940s, although the vast
majority arrived in the 1950s and 1960s. The majority of these came from
Punjab, although some came from East Africa and other former British colonies.
Many Sikhs served in the British Indian armies during the First- and Second
World Wars.

Guru Nanak Dev preached a message of universal love, peace
and brotherhood, emphasised by the worship of one God. He believed that the
worship of God in whatever tradition one practised should be sincere and
honest. He settled in Punjab and founded a community of Sikhs (disciples or

Guru Nanak Dev was the first of ten Gurus (divine teachers
who convey the word of God). Sikhism emphasises the worship of the Word of God,
not the object of worship. The tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh vested authority
in the Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh scripture) and in KhalsaPanth (path of the
pure ones). The Guru Granth Sahib is therefore the eternal Guru embodying the
Divine Word.

Guru Gobind Singh introduced Sikhs to “Armit”, a ceremony of
initiation similar to Baptism whereby Sikhs adopt their name (Singh for men and
Kaur for women) and the five symbols of Sikhism. He provided instructions for
prayer and how Sikhs should conduct themselves, completing the spiritual and
temporal structure of the Sikh faith. Some Sikhs may carry a small prayer book
wrapped in cloth which can only be touched with clean hands.


Most Sikhs in Britain speak Punjabi and English, although
other languages may also be spoken such as Swahili (those from East Africa) and
Hindi (the national language of India). The Punjabi language shares similarities
in vocabulary and grammar with Urdu and Hindu.


Sikhs believe in one God, and this underpins every aspect of
life. The creation of the world is understood to have originated from God’s
will to create, developing from lower to higher forms of life. From air came
water; from water came the lower forms of life: plants, birds and animals, and
the supreme form of created life on earth: humans. The purpose of human life is
to seek its creator and merge with God, breaking a cycle of rebirth. Failure to
do so will lead to rebirth, including lower forms of life than humans.

Prayers are normally said in the early morning and before
sleeping at night. This can be done individually and within the Sikh’s home
(some homes may have separate rooms that contain the Guru Granth Sahib),
although communal prayer is regarded as particularly important. There is no
particular holy day during the week for Sikhs; for convenience, the temple is
usually visited on a Saturday in Britain.

Gurdwara (Temple) is open to all irrespective of race,
religion, or social status. Each has The Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh holy book),
communal kitchen and dining area. It is customary for all that enter the temple
to be served food. Shoes are removed and entrants should cover their heads. Smoking
and alcohol are not permitted in temples.

Food Preferences

Many Sikhs refrain from alcohol, tobacco and other
intoxicants. Meat should only be consumed if it is Jhatka, where the animal has
been instantaneously killed with one stroke. Those that eat meat must not eat
halal or kosher meat. Many Sikhs are vegetarians. The degree to which these
strict dietary requirements are adhered to varies amongst the community. Sikhs
do not practice self-denial, therefore they do not fast for religious reasons.

Personal Care and Hygiene

Cleanliness is very important to Sikh communities. Long hair
requires regular washing and managing, with hair oil being applied for its
maintenance. Leaving the hair uncut applies to the whole body not just to the
head and face. Beards are not cut and the Khanga is used to comb the hair every
day. Orthodox Sikhs will bathe daily and pray twice. The steel bracelet,
jewellery or threads that are worn should not be removed without permission.

Women may wear Punjabi suits (two-piece cotton or silk dress
over baggy trousers). Men tend to wear Western clothes, although more orthodox
Sikhs will wear traditional tunics over baggy trousers.

As with many other religions, Sikhs require the use of the
left hand when using the toilet and leave the right hand for eating.

Modesty is one of the five ‘K’s (see below) and both men and
women observe conservative dress codes.


Food is always served to those entering the Sikh temples

There are five symbols of Sikhism (the five K’s): Kesh (long
hair, symbolising holiness); Kanga (the comb symbolising purity); Kara (steel
bracelet worn on right wrist to protect the sword arm, symbolises eternity);
Kirpan (a small dagger symbolising willingness to fight oppression) the
Criminal Justice Act 1988 exempts Sikhs wearing the Kirpan from criminal
prosecution if the employer can justify the prohibition of wearing the Kirpan
as a proportionate response on the grounds of health and safety, security or
some other legitimate business aim then it can be removed; and the Kaccha
(shorts worn under clothes to symbolise modesty). In addition to this, a turban
is worn to protect the Kesh. The wearing of these items identifies the person
as a Sikh who has dedicated himself or herself to a life of devotion to Guru.

In Britain, the Kirpan is worn by orthodox Sikhs and is
exempt from classification of a dangerous weapon. Sikhs believe in rebirth and
after death, the body is washed and dressed, with cremation happening as soon
as possible. In India, cremation is usually on the same day; in Britain
cremation is within two to five days. Post-mortem examinations can be viewed as
a form of violation of the body and are likely to cause significant distress to
the family. On the day of the cremation, the body it is usually placed in an
open cask; relatives and friends come to pay their last respects, and a priest
reads the last rites. The Guru Granth Sahib is brought home from the temple
after the cremation and prayers are read, usually lasting a whole morning.

Main Festivals

Dates provided refer to the Gregorian calendar.

Gurpurbs – Celebrations of the birth or death of a
Guru are usually by means of prayer, religious lectures, KarahPrashad (blessed,
sweet food made from semolina, sugar, clarified butter and water served after
worship) and Langar (free communal meal). There are four major Gurpurbs
celebrated in Britain:

Guru Nanak Dev – a Celebration lasting 3 days

Martyrdom of Guru TeghBahadur

Guru Gobind Singh

Martyrdom of Guru ArjanDev

Installation of the Guru Granth Sahib (August–September)
– Celebrating the Sikh Scriptures.

Vaisakhi (April) – Marking the day when Guru Gobind
Singh founded the Sikh brotherhood Khalsa. Sikhs carry a flag down the streets
in a procession to the gurdwara and replace the old one with it.

Diwali (October/November) – Celebration in memory of
Guru Hargobind’s return from imprisonment and the saving of 52 Hindu Kings. It
is celebrated with the lighting up of the Gurdwara.


‘Traveller’ is an umbrella term that encompasses a variety
of groups, including Romanies or gipsies, Irish travellers, New age Travellers,
and occupational travellers (circus and fairground workers). Whilst it is
commonplace for travellers to be nomadic, some may also live in houses. A
person is born a traditional traveller and cannot become one by association. It
is thought that Romani people arrived in the British Isles around the 16th
Century, travelling to trade, work and entertain. The size of the population is
estimated to be 80,000 to 110,000 in Britain. There is no single culture and
traveller communities worldwide hold different beliefs, customs and traditions.


Due to the diversity of the population language is not
specific and may include Romanies. Within the Irish traveller community Gammon,
Shelta, or Cant may be spoken. New Age travellers are a diverse group including
people from many different origins and the languages used will vary between


Due to the diversity of this group religious practices or
beliefs varies across Britain. Usually, the religions and local culture of the
country or area in which they settle are adopted. Within Britain, Christian
practices are followed, although this varies between groups and areas of
settlement. It should also be noted that many religious beliefs may be a mix of
traditional beliefs and community-based practices and traditions.

Food Preferences

Travellers mostly adopt the diet of the area or country they
live in, although many will not eat horsemeat.

Personal Care and Hygiene

Many prefer to wash under free-flowing water and use
different bowls for different tasks.


Although practices vary across different groups there are
some general similarities. For example, there may be clear, gender-defined
roles within traveller communities. Within some groups, women and men will
socialise with other same-sex members.

Privacy is highly valued within the community. There may not
be a defined community leader, although age is respected. Men are usually
self-employed and rely on traditional trade for income, with women often not
working outside of the home.

Literacy levels may be low due to the nomadic way of life.
Some families believe it to be disrespectful to say the names of those that
have passed away. Gold jewellery is sometimes worn as a symbol of wealth and
prosperity. Dogs are generally not allowed within the living areas of the
family, as they are seen as unclean.

Main Festivals

This will vary depending on the area and “adopted” beliefs
of the community.

Implications for Care

  • Literacy
    may be low and care should be taken to read things if required, or
    assistance provided in completing written work.
  • Privacy
    is valued and should be respected.
  • Identifying
    a person’s individual, specific needs by asking them will be important,
    due to the diversity of the culture.
  • There
    may be a preference for same-sex carers, as dressing and undressing in
    front of strangers can be embarrassing.
  • Modesty
    may also be important, and care should be taken over the choice of the sex
    of the carer, and over washing and bathing routines.
  • Each
    traveller group has its own culture, traditions, routines, beliefs, and
    customs. These should be identified and respected.

Date of next review;11 April 2024


Policy Statement


This organisation recognises its responsibility to ensure that all reasonable precautions are taken to provide and maintain working conditions that are safe, healthy, and compliant with all statutory requirements and codes of organisation, including the statutory duty for employers to conduct regular health and safety risk assessments.

This organisation is committed to ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of its staff, students, and delegates, so far as is reasonably practicable, and of all other persons who may be affected by our activities.

Positive Risk-Taking

This organisation is committed to incorporating positive risk-taking into its assessments and plans of care. We recognise that learners have a right to make decisions about their lives and learning. There is a balance to be found between participation in everyday activities. The duty of care to both workers/learners and service users is our legal responsibility.

The Policy

This policy is intended to set out the values, principles, and ethos underpinning this organisation’s approach to risk assessment and health and safety.

Risk Assessment Policy

The following points constitute the policy of this organisation:

  • A risk assessment should be undertaken, by a trained and qualified person, and identifies the potential risks to service users and staff associated with delivering  care/learning before work/learning commences.
  • How the risk assessment is undertaken should be appropriate to the needs of the individuals.
  •    This risk management plan should be implemented and reviewed annually or more frequently, if necessary.
  • Any new risks that arise (including defective appliances, equipment, fixtures or security of the premises) should be reported by staff/learners to their line managers/coach

  • The name and contact number of the organisation responsible for providing and maintaining any equipment under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 should be recorded on the risk assessment.
  • Any manual handling equipment used for training demonstrations, should be maintained and be in a safe working condition and be subject to regular inspections by the manufacturers.


Health and Safety Risk Assessments

The organisation recognises that risk assessments are a legal requirement under Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR). The organisation believes that risk assessments should identify hazards and resulting risks to employees/learners and other persons who may be affected by work activities. The organisation understands a hazard to be the potential for harm, with the risk being the likelihood of that harm occurring and the severity of the harm (e.g. slight injury, major injury, death).

This organisation will fully implement Regulation 3 of MHSWR which requires employers/coaches to:

  1. Assess risks to all individuals during training sessions.

2.                   Identify the measures needed to protect the persons in the organisation.

3.                   Review the assessment and make necessary changes if:

  • There is any significant change that affects risk (e.g. a new employee, machine, or learner).
  • There is reason to believe it is no longer valid.

4.                   Where there are five or more employees, keep records of:

  • The significant findings of the assessment
  • Any group of employees identified by it as being particularly vulnerable.

The organisation will include the following as areas of potential hazard or risk in the office premises or service user and their premises:

  • Hazardous substances within the scope of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH), e.g. chemical hazards, drugs, sharps, body fluids, hazardous waste, and others not currently covered by COSHH, e.g. lead, asbestos and substances that are hazardous for reasons other than their toxicity, i.e. those which are flammable, or which enhance combustion, react violently, etc.
  • Manual handling and the moving of  students.
  • Use of display screen equipment, e.g. computers.
  • Electrical hazards.
  • Work equipment and machinery.
  • Workplace hazards, e.g. space, clutter, lighting, heating, ventilation, tripping hazards, safe access and egress, and inadequate sanitary facilities, e.g. toilets, drinking water.
  • Emergencies, e.g. fire, injuries requiring first aid, dangerous spillages.
  • Violence or threats and abuse.
  • Falls.
  • Nutrition.
  • Lone working.

This is not an exhaustive list and any other potential hazard risk relating to a specific service user will be assessed.


Related Guidance

Health and Safety Executive: 

NICE Guidelines [NG6], March 2015: Excess Winter Deaths and Illness and the Health Risks Associated with Cold Homes:  

NICE Quality Standard [QS117], March 2016: Preventing Excess Winter Deaths and Illness Associated with Cold Homes: 

Gov.UK: Cold Weather Plan for England 

Gov.UK: Heatwave Plan for England 


Date Reviewed: September 2023Person responsible for updating this policy: [Jabu Nyirongo]

Next Review Date: May 2024