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Safeguarding adults at risk in the NHS through inter‐agency working

Simon Williams (Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Whitchurch Hospital, Cardiff, UK)

The Journal of Adult Protection

ISSN: 1466-8203

Article publication date: 11 April 2011




The paper aims to appraise professional practice in safeguarding vulnerable adults. It will examine the mechanisms in place and discuss how future policy will affect multi‐agency working in this field.


The paper examines recent consultations, policy development, inspectorate reports and legal guidance surrounding the issue of safeguarding adults in England and Wales, and suggests ways in which inter‐agency working can be strengthened.


Safeguarding systems need to be timely, rigorous and transparent to increase levels of public confidence and to ensure that the people who are at most risk of being abused are safe when accessing public services. The concept of safeguarding adults is increasingly being integrated into government policy and there are many successful examples of safeguarding partnership working in England and Wales. However, there are also substantial barriers that hinder organisations from working together effectively, such as different cultures, practices and ideologies.


The paper explores the fact that there needs to be clarification of roles and responsibilities and integration of processes, and acceptance of true multi‐agency working. There is a danger that instead of providing extra protection for adults at risk, multiple routes will result in a lack of co‐ordination.



Williams, S. (2011), "Safeguarding adults at risk in the NHS through inter‐agency working", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 100-113.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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