2.2 Explain where to get additional support and advice about how to resolve such dilemmas

2.2 Explain where to get additional support and advice about how to resolve such dilemmas

Duty of Care Answers

Care Learning

7 mins READ

This guide will help you answer The RQF Level 2 Diploma in Care Unit 2.2 Explain where to get additional support and advice about how to resolve such dilemmas.

In health and social care settings, dilemmas often arise. These can involve ethical concerns, safety issues, or conflicts of interest. It is crucial for care workers to know where to get support and advice to resolve these dilemmas. This ensures the well-being of both the service user and the care worker.

Understanding Dilemmas in Care

What is a Dilemma?

A dilemma is a situation where there are multiple choices, all of which may have negative or challenging consequences. In care settings, dilemmas can occur when the best interests of a service user conflict with policies, family wishes, or legal requirements.

Sources of Support

Line Manager or Supervisor

Your first point of contact should always be your line manager or supervisor. They have experience and a good understanding of the policies and procedures of your organisation. They can provide immediate advice and support.

How to Approach Your Line Manager

  • Arrange a private meeting to discuss your concerns.
  • Clearly explain the dilemma you’re facing.
  • Ask specific questions about your options and the best course of action.

Policies and Procedures Manual

Every care organisation has a set of policies and procedures. This manual offers guidelines on how to handle various situations, including dilemmas. Familiarise yourself with this document.

Finding Relevant Information

  • Check the contents page or index for topics related to your dilemma.
  • Look for sections on ethical issues, conflict resolution, and safeguarding.

Professional Organisations

Bodies such as the General Medical Council (GMC) or the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) offer resources and guidance. They provide codes of practice which can give you a framework for making decisions.

How to Use These Resources

  • Visit their websites for guidelines and resources.
  • Look for case studies similar to your situation.
  • Consider reaching out to their support services for personalised advice.

Seeking Advice

Peer Support

Colleagues can offer invaluable advice based on their experiences. Discussing dilemmas with peers can provide new perspectives and solutions.

Creating a Support Network

  • Join staff meetings and training sessions to build relationships.
  • Participate in peer support groups within your organisation.

Ethics Committees

Many larger organisations have ethics committees. These are groups of professionals who review and provide advice on complex ethical issues.

How to Engage with an Ethics Committee

  • Find out if your organisation has an ethics committee.
  • Understand the process for submitting a case for review.
  • Prepare a detailed description of the dilemma you’re facing.

Legal Advice

Sometimes, dilemmas have legal implications. In such cases, seeking legal advice is prudent.

Accessing Legal Support

  • Consult your organisation’s legal advisor if available.
  • Use external legal services for specialised advice.
  • Understand your rights and responsibilities under the law.

External Support Services

Charities and Non-Profit Organisations

Various charities specialise in supporting care workers and service users. Organisations like Age UK or Mind offer resources and advice on specific issues.

Utilising Charitable Resources

  • Visit their websites for information and advice.
  • Contact their helplines for direct support.
  • Participate in workshops or support groups they offer.

Advocacy Services

Advocacy services help ensure that the service user’s voice is heard. They can assist in resolving dilemmas where there is a conflict of interest or where the service user cannot advocate for themselves.

Working with Advocates

  • Identify appropriate advocacy services.
  • Collaborate with advocates to understand the service user’s perspective.
  • Use their input to inform your decision-making process.

Learning and Development

Training Courses

Ongoing training helps you stay informed about best practices and new regulations. Many courses focus on ethical decision-making and conflict resolution.

Finding Relevant Training

  • Check if your organisation offers internal training sessions.
  • Look for external courses from reputable training providers.
  • Apply the knowledge gained to your everyday practice.

Reflective Practice

Reflective practice involves analysing your actions and decisions to improve future performance. This helps you understand the root causes of dilemmas and develop more effective strategies.

Steps for Reflective Practice

  • Keep a journal to document and reflect on dilemmas you face.
  • Review these entries regularly to identify patterns.
  • Discuss your reflections with a mentor or supervisor for additional insights.

Example answers for Unit 2.2 Explain where to get additional support and advice about how to resolve such dilemmas

Certainly! Below are example answers, written from the perspective of a care worker, to demonstrate how you might explain where to get additional support and advice about resolving dilemmas in a care setting.

Example 1: Seeking Guidance from a Line Manager

“Recently, I encountered a situation where a service user with dementia wanted to leave the care home to visit a place they remembered from their past. This presented a dilemma, as their condition meant it wasn’t safe for them to go out alone. I decided to seek guidance from my line manager because they have extensive experience handling such situations and know our policies well.

I arranged a private meeting with her, clearly explained the dilemma, and asked for specific advice on how to balance the service user’s wishes with their safety. She advised me on how to engage the service user in safer activities to satisfy their desire for outings and explained the risk assessment process. This support was invaluable and helped me make a decision that respected the service user’s feelings while ensuring their safety.”

Example 2: Referencing the Policies and Procedures Manual

“I encountered an ethical dilemma when a family member of a service user asked me to share health details that the service user had asked to keep confidential. Unsure how to proceed, I consulted the policies and procedures manual of our organisation.

By using the index, I found sections on confidentiality and ethical issues. The manual provided clear guidelines that emphasised the importance of respecting the service user’s wishes and outlined the exceptions, such as if the information was crucial for emergency medical treatment. This reference gave me the clarity I needed to handle the situation in line with our established procedures and legal requirements.”

Example 3: Utilising Professional Organisations

“While working with a service user who was refusing medication, I faced a dilemma about respecting their autonomy while ensuring their health was not compromised. I decided to seek advice from a professional organisation, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

I visited their website and found a wealth of resources on handling refusal of care, including case studies and ethical guidelines. This information helped me understand the best practices and the ethical considerations involved. I also contacted their support service for personalised advice. This comprehensive support helped me address the issue in a manner that upheld the service user’s rights while trying to persuade them to take their medication for their own well-being.”

Example 4: Peer Support

“In a challenging situation where a service user was displaying aggressive behaviour, I turned to my colleagues for peer support. I discussed the scenario during our weekly team meeting and asked for their insights.

Many of my colleagues had encountered similar situations and were able to share effective strategies they had used, such as specific de-escalation techniques and behavioural interventions. This peer support network provided me with practical advice and boosted my confidence in handling the dilemma.”

Example 5: Consulting an Ethics Committee

“I faced a complex ethical dilemma when a service user requested assistance with advance directives that conflicted with their family’s wishes. To resolve this issue, I sought help from our organisation’s ethics committee.

I learned about the process for submitting cases by speaking with the committee coordinator. After preparing a detailed case description, I presented it to the committee. They reviewed the situation and provided recommendations based on ethical principles and our organisation’s policies. Their guidance helped me navigate this sensitive issue and make an informed decision that considered all parties involved.”

Example 6: Seeking Legal Advice

“During my work, I came across a situation where I suspected there was financial abuse occurring towards a service user. This raised a legal dilemma, and I needed to ensure that my actions were compliant with the law while protecting the service user.

I consulted our organisation’s legal advisor to understand the legal steps required for reporting and addressing financial abuse. The legal advisor provided clear advice on how to document my observations and follow proper procedures, ensuring that we acted within the legal framework to protect the service user.”

Example 7: External Support from Charities

“A service user with mental health issues expressed suicidal thoughts, which created an urgent and distressing dilemma. To find additional support and advice, I reached out to Mind, a charity specialising in mental health.

I visited their website and found valuable resources on crisis intervention. I also contacted their helpline and spoke with a counsellor who provided me with strategies for immediate response and information on local mental health services that could offer further assistance. This external support was crucial in ensuring the service user received the help they needed promptly.”

Example 8: Working with Advocacy Services

“I was dealing with a dilemma where a service user felt their concerns about care were not being listened to. In this case, I decided to involve an advocacy service to ensure their voice was heard.

I identified a local advocacy service and set up a meeting with one of their advocates. The advocate worked with the service user to express their concerns clearly and provided additional support in communicating with our care team. This collaboration helped resolve the issue and ensured the service user felt their needs were addressed.”

Example 9: Engaging in Reflective Practice

“After experiencing a series of dilemmas related to end-of-life care decisions, I realised the importance of reflective practice. I started keeping a journal to document these dilemmas and my responses to them.

Regularly reviewing my journal entries helped me identify patterns in my decision-making process and areas where I could improve. I also shared my reflections with my supervisor during our regular meetings, which provided additional insights and helped me develop a more thoughtful approach to resolving future dilemmas.”

These examples illustrate how to find and use various sources of support and advice to address and resolve dilemmas in a care setting. By leveraging these resources, care workers can make informed decisions that prioritise the well-being of their service users.


Dilemmas in care settings are inevitable, but they can be managed effectively with the right support and advice. Always start by consulting your line manager and your organisation’s policies. Utilise professional organisations, peer support, and ethics committees for additional guidance.

Don’t hesitate to seek legal advice if required, and make use of external support services such as charities and advocacy services.

Lastly, invest in your learning and reflect on your experiences to continually improve your decision-making skills. By doing so, you’ll be better equipped to resolve dilemmas and provide high-quality care.

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