3.3 Describe where to get support and advice about managing conflicts and dilemmas

Course: NVQ Level 4 Diploma In Health And Social Care (RQF)

Unit 9: Professional practice in health and social care for adults or children and young people

LO3: Understand how to address conflicts and dilemmas that may arise between an individual’s rights to choice and control and the duty of care

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3.3 Describe where to get support and advice about managing conflicts and dilemmas

Professional support in managing conflicts and dilemmas will be given to you by staff in the patient’s home, or community settings. The social worker should also have a responsibility in supporting the staff who are making decisions about an individual’s wellbeing. If any difficulties occur, staff can ask to speak to their senior manager for further advice.

If you are struggling with your role, it may be beneficial to speak to a colleague about the situation. You could also request some time off in order to have time away from the patient or service user so that you can recover and find new solutions for future dilemmas.

Conflicts and dilemmas can arise when providing care to service users, for example, an individual’s rights to choice and control may conflict with the duty of care. If conflicts or dilemmas do arise they should be referred to senior management who will then assess whether any further action should be taken. Conflicts can also occur within an agency, therefore they can be discussed with colleagues, managers, or trade unions. They may also be referred to the safeguarding team for advice and support if necessary. Local councils are also able to provide information on the legal rights of service users.

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There is a range of support and advice networks that will help you manage conflicts and dilemmas. The following information can be used as a guide on where to get further support:

  • When a situation arises that you are unsure of, try to discuss it with the person involved in the care.
  • If you have concerns about an individual’s rights, contact an external agency such as the local council social services department or a solicitor.
  • Seek advice from a senior member of staff in your organization.
  • You can contact the relevant authority (e.g. Department of Health) for information about your obligations and to find out what support is available in your own local area.
  • Contact a clinical commissioning group or health care provider to access training or advice on planning services for older people or those who have dementia, learning disabilities, or mental health problems.
  • Consider speaking with an advocacy service if you are unsure how to represent someone’s views/interests, particularly when decision-making has been delegated to staff by an individual.
  • If you are involved with legal proceedings as part of your job then seek specialist support through your solicitor or contact the Citizens Advice Bureau.
  • If you are a manager or team leader, speak with your Occupational Health Advisor. They will be able to support and advise you regarding a range of issues.

To get support and advice about managing conflicts and dilemmas speak with a person you trust or contact one of the following:

  • Your organization’s senior management
  • An external agency such as social services, solicitor, Health Care Provider
  • A Clinical Commissioning Group
  • The Department of Health
  • Advocacy Services if you are unsure how to represent someone’s views/interests
  • Your Occupational Health Advisor

If anyone believes that they have experienced or witnessed abuse, either direct or indirect (e.g. by witnessing family members arguing about the person’s well-being), contact Adult Social Services at your local authority for advice and support. Keep records of all conversations and correspondence with third sector organizations, including dates and name(s) of staff involved.

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