Views sought on a new review process following a person’s harm or death
A public consultation seeking views on making the review process following a person’s death easier and quicker for families has opened.
Views are being sought on introducing a Single Unified Safeguarding Review (SUSR) which would integrate Domestic Homicide Reviews, Child Practice Reviews, Adult Practice Reviews, Mental Health Homicide Reviews and Offensive Weapons Homicide Reviews. It would create a single review process, eliminating the need for multiple agency reviews to be undertaken when someone has tragically lost their life or been significantly harmed.
By moving to a new process, it will prevent families having to take part in a traumatising cycle of information-giving and waiting and allow lessons to be identified, shared and implemented quickly on an all Wales basis to prevent future harm.
Where one or more review criteria are met, the Single Unified Safeguarding Review process will avoid the need to undertake a series of multiple reviews in relation to the same single incident.
The new review process would be overseen by a national body and be retained in a central system to ensure national learning from the outcomes are implemented.
The Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan said:
“Whenever any life is lost or is significantly impacted by abuse, we need to make sure that no opportunity to protect that person from harm was missed so that we can better protect others in the future.
“This is why I am pleased to announce the public consultation on the Single Unified Safeguarding Review statutory guidance. The Single Unified Safeguarding Review seeks to develop a single, proportionate mechanism in which to conduct a review following the most serious of incidents in Wales.
“Multiple reviews have caused significant duplication of effort and resources, whilst also putting the family and those involved through numerous reviews, causing delays in the identification and implementation learning. By creating a single review process, we will avoid duplication and ensure that learning is identified and shared quickly to prevent future harm and reduce further trauma for victims and families. I look forward to seeing the results of the public consultation.”
Julian Hendy, the Director of the Hundred Families charity said:
“For too long serious incidents have been reviewed in isolation and affected families have not received the information and support they need. Historically the ability to learn and improve from these tragedies has been compromised. The SUSR is a welcome initiative and now offers the possibility to change all that and lead to clear improvements in services, so that as far as possible, further tragedies can be avoided.”
Amanda L Robinson, Professor of Criminology, Co-Director of the Security, Crime & Intelligence Innovation Institute, Cardiff University
“As a result of collaboration between Welsh Government and the Security, Crime and Intelligence Innovation Institute at Cardiff University, the Wales Safeguarding Repository (WSR) has been created. The WSR is globally unique in its scope, security, functionality, and centrality to government, and will enable researchers and practitioners to extract new learning about violence, abuse, vulnerability and safeguarding with a view to improving practice on a pan-Wales basis, ultimately reducing the risk of reoccurrence and saving lives. The WSR is a fantastic example of impactful, cross-disciplinary and long-term collaboration and something Wales can be very proud to have pioneered.”
Sara Kirkpatrick CEO Welsh Women’s Aid said:
“Welsh Women’s Aid are supportive of this ambition from Welsh Government. A single mechanism which ensures the reviews of devastating events including domestic homicides, gives space to the voices of all who are affected by such tragedy, and meaningfully incorporates learnings and lessons from across services would be welcomed.”
The consultation will be open until Friday 9th June 2023.
Notes to editors
- The consultation can be found here:
- The Single Unified Safeguarding Review involves practitioners, managers, and senior officers exploring the detail and context of agencies’ work both individually and collectively, with a child and/or adult at risk or who has been a victim of homicide, and their family, where every effort will be made to ensure that their voices are at the heart of the Review.
- The output of a Review is to generate professional and organisational learning and promote improvement in future inter-agency practice to keep people safe. It is not about apportioning blame but ensuring that lessons are identified and implemented through a clear Action Plan.
- A Single Unified Safeguarding Review is not an inquiry into how the victim died or sustained injuries or into who is culpable.