Last updated: 27.01.20

What is an Adult Practice Review?

When it comes to safeguarding adults, reviews are carried out throughout the UK in order to understand and analyse cases where abuse or neglect is known or suspected. Each region has its own name for its reviews – Adult Practice Reviews are relevant to Wales. Please select another region to find out about its type of inquiry: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Safeguarding Adults Boards

Safeguarding Adults Boards were established under section 134 of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014.

Their functions are to:

  • Cooperate with other Safeguarding Boards and the National Board
  • Develop and review procedures for Safeguarding Boards to increase their effectiveness
  • Follow national policies and guidance provided by the National Board
  • Undertake relevant reviews, audits and investigations
  • Make recommendations and ensure these are being followed within the Board
  • Ensure appropriate training is available for anyone working to improve adult safeguarding practice
  • Work in partnership with other organisations to safeguard and protect the welfare of children in its area.

Adult Practice Reviews

Adult Practice Reviews (APRs) are led by Local Safeguarding Adult Boards (LSABs) in accordance with The Safeguarding Boards (Functions and Procedures) Wales Regulations 2015.

APRs aim to do the following:

  • Identify any steps that can be taken by the LSAB to improve multi-agency adult safeguarding practice.
  • Encourage an open and transparent culture of learning.
  • Provide accountability and reassurance to individuals, families and the wider public.
  • Enable prompt identification of the need for systematic or professional changes, whilst encouraging prompt actions.
  • Promote effective information sharing and learning on a local and national level.

Following an APR, the LSAB is required to hold a multi-agency learning event and produce a practice review report indicating what recommendations and action (if any) are required. 

When an APR Report has been written, the LSAB must submit a copy, with a copy of the Action Plan to the Welsh ministers and National Board.

When are APRs  conducted?

LSABs are required carry out an APR when an adult has experienced abuse or neglect of an adult is known or suspected, and has died (including death by probable suicide), sustained potentially life-threatening injury, sustained serious and permanent impairment of health or development or has been subjected to serious sexual abuse.

Extended Practice Reviews

An Extended Adult Practice Review must be undertaken when an adult at risk who has, on any date during the last six months before the event, been under protection by the local authority and has come to serious harm (as listed above).

Any member of the Safeguarding Adults Board agency or practitioner can raise concerns about a case which they believe meet the above criteria for an Adult Practice Review. They need to complete a referral form and submit to their senior manager.

National Independent Safeguarding Board for Wales (National Board)

The National Independent Safeguarding Board was set up under the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014. The Board has the following duties:

  • To provide support and advice to Safeguarding Boards with a view to ensuring they are effective.
  • To report on the effectiveness of arrangements to safeguard children and adults in Wales.
  • To make recommendations to the Welsh Ministers as to how those arrangements could be improved.

Every LSB (for adults and children) must provide copies of reports following the completion of practice reviews. This enables the National Board to produce an Annual Report highlighting the work LSBs are completing and identify areas for improvement in adult and child safeguarding practice.

Previous Safeguarding Adults Reviews and Learning

Lessons learned from previous high-profile Serious Case Reviews (SCRs) in England have contributed to the development of current safeguarding practice in Wales. Wales has adopted some of these cases and presented them as Practice Case Reviews.

The following SCRs were high profile, receiving national attention and can be considered key cornerstones to the improvements and development of adult safeguarding practice in Wales. Select each name for more information.

Winterbourne View

Orchid View

Steven Hoskin

For more information about Adult Practice Reviews, select the link: ‘Working Together to Safeguard People (2014)’