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Analyse how barriers to equality impact on individuals


This page is designed to answer the following questions:

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Barriers to quality can be thought of as anything that restricts the use of health and care services by making it more difficult for some individuals to access them. They can include:

  • Physical barriers (e.g. steps that prevent access to a building for an individual with a condition that affects their mobility)
  • Social barriers (e.g. prejudice, stereotyping etc.)
  • Cognitive barriers (e.g. lack of comprehension or understanding, information not conveyed in a way that an individual can understand)
  • Psychological barriers (e.g. depression, anxiety etc.)
  • Financial/resource barriers (e.g. not having the correct equipment, not having access to interpretation services etc.)
  • Communication barriers (e.g. accents, slang, jargon, mental capacity etc.)

These kinds of barriers can impact individuals in several ways.


First and foremost they may not be able to get the care or treatment they need, which can lead to a deterioration of their health and the development of additional, more acute conditions.

Also, when an individual is treated unfairly, they can feel sad, angry, upset and left out. This can lead to further issues, including mental health conditions (depression, anxiety etc.), a loss of confidence and self-esteem and withdrawal/isolation from society.


Therefore, barriers to equality can have a negative impact on an individual’s physical, mental, emotional and social well-being.

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