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301612_GEO_MeasuringTreatment_acc

301612_GEO_MeasuringTreatment_acc - Perceptions of Unfair...

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Perceptions of Unfair Treatment in the Public Carol McNaughton Nicholls, Sue Arthur and Chris Creegan March 2010
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Contents Summary 3 1. Introduction 5 1.1 Background 5 1.2 Research methods 5 Recruitment 5 Sample 6 Conduct of focus groups 7 Data management and analysis 8 Reporting 8 1.3 Structure of report 8 2. Perceptions of unfair treatment by public services 9 2.1 Defning Public Services 9 2.2 Experiences of unfair treatment by public services 10 Staff Conduct 11 Information, communication and procedures 12 Outcomes and distribution 14 2.3 Unfair treatment and different equality strands 16 3. Conceptualising fair treatment 19 3.1 Fairness 19 3.2 Discrimination 20 3.3 Dignity and Respect 21 3.4 Drivers of information 23 3.5 Aspirations for fair treatment 23 4. Conclusion 26 Fair treatment and public services 26 Difference, equality and unfairness 26 Implications for the research programme 27 Appendix A 28 Appendix B 37 1
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Summary The study Eight focus groups were used to explore the public's understanding of what is meant by “unfair treatment by public services”. Defning public services • A spectrum of different services, provisions and resources were identifed as being ‘public services’ not restricted to services funded or provided by the government at National or Local levels. • Services provided for and accessed by the public was the dominant theme to what was perceived as public services. Unfair treatment by public services Experiences of unfair treatment by public services focussed on three distinct issues: − Staff conduct − Information, communication and procedures − outcomes and distribution • These issues could overlap and a combination of two or more could lead to the treatment being perceived as being unfair treatment to a greater degree than one ‘unfair’ element being experienced alone. • The intersection of these three issues does not occur along clear lines of ‘difference’, • However difference can exacerbate vulnerability and underpin needs not being adequately met when different needs are not taken into account. Understanding of concepts • Fairness, respect, dignity and discrimination were not conceptualised as being the same, but as being related, and important components of fair treatment. • Fairness was about equality of opportunity, and allowing that different needs mean people need different resources to attain the same outcomes. • Discrimination was deemed as treating someone differently on the basis of a characteristic.This could be a negative or positive act.
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