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Wales’ safeguarding policy and practice: a critical analysis

Carys Phillips (Cardiff Law School, Cardiff, UK)

The Journal of Adult Protection

ISSN: 1466-8203

Article publication date: 8 February 2016




The safeguarding and protection components of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 offers the culmination of four years consultation in England and Wales by the Law Commission and many years of evolving policy and practice with a view to protecting adults from harm. The purpose of this paper is to offer both scrutiny and challenge for Wales’ policy makers and practitioners alike.


The paper is a critical analysis of both current responses and forthcoming changes.


The paper proposes that Wales has failed to implement previous recommendations in relation to institutional abuse. Currently in Wales, there are individuals employed in safeguarding lead roles who have no social care qualification. This apparent “loophole” has not to date been highlighted to date by either of the regulatory bodies within Wales (CSSIW/CCfW).

Research limitations/implications

The paper offers a viewpoint but leaves some questions unanswered.

Practical implications

The Williams Review in April 2014 is set to change the local authority landscape in Wales. There is scope for developing the function of adult safeguarding.

Social implications

Wales’ failure to recognize institutionalized abuse as a distinct category may have had impacted on its ability to respond to abuse in nursing and care as well hospital settings.


The failure to recognize institutional abuse is not the only safeguarding anomaly within Wales’ arrangements for protecting those are risk of abuse. This paper describes gaps in the NHS and of professional accountability.



Phillips, C. (2016), "Wales’ safeguarding policy and practice: a critical analysis", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 14-27.



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