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A summary of the scope and purpose of the Single Unified Safeguarding Review (SUSR) ministerial board.


In 2018, there was an academic review by Professor Amanda Robinson from Cardiff University and a Welsh Government practitioner review by Liane James on:

  • Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHR)
  • Adult Practice Reviews (APR)
  • Mental Health Homicide Reviews (MHHR)
  • Child Practice Reviews (CPR)

As a result, recommendations were made concerning:

  • legislation
  • governance
  • policy
  • process
  • a central repository
  • a national library
  • learning and training

Both reviews highlighted the need for co-ordination, collaboration, communication and governance to be improved when conducting safeguarding reviews in Wales. The work exposed the complexity of devolved and non-devolved bodies undertaking reviews, in isolation and in some cases without Welsh Government knowledge or involvement, which created a chaotic review landscape in Wales.

Recommendations were made and accepted by Welsh ministers to have a Single Unified Safeguarding Review (SUSR) process with a sole body providing overarching governance linked into a central repository to facilitate pan-Wales learning and training. Complementing this was the need for a process that could escalate exceptional issues, including potential changes to policy or issues that involve both devolved and non-devolved functions, at an inter-ministerial level to influence, support and guide this unique process and outcomes.


The board is the overarching body bringing together the devolved and non-devolved aspects of safeguarding under one governance model. The purpose of the board is set out in the 4 areas below.


Within the area of leadership, the purpose of the board is to:

  • provide a national forum to assist the prevention, management of and learning from safeguarding reviews in Wales
  • encourage the development and implementation of a consistent approach across Wales with key partners
  • consider any potential changes that Welsh Government may have to make in terms of statutory responsibilities linked to legislation, guidance, policy or resource allocations, as a result of action plans and recommendations emerging from SUSRs


Within the area of process, the purpose of the board is to:

  • have a strategic oversight of the number of current safeguarding reviews (including DHRs) and the emerging national issues, patterns and common learning themes, which require a pan-Wales or UK response
  • ensure there is a focus on learning by the appropriate agencies, on outcomes from completed reviews, and that there are mechanisms in place to deliver against those outcomes
  • receive and act upon escalated issues from regions which cannot be solved at that level and require a pan-Wales or UK response, including potential changes to existing policies and legislation

Holding and generating information

Within the area of holding and generating information, the purpose of the board is to:

  • receive key themes identified by the Welsh Safeguarding Repository and the learning identified
  • receive monitoring reports on how the learning arising from the information obtained from the repository is put into practice

Wider learning opportunities

Within the area of wider learning opportunities, the purpose of the board is to:

  • encourage the exploration of safeguarding opportunities from an international perspective and identify and share best practice


Membership of the board includes:

  • First Minister (chair)
  • Minister for Climate Change (including Housing)
  • Minister for Finance and Local Government
  • Minister for Health and Social Services
  • Deputy Minister for Social Services
  • Minister for Social Justice
  • Minister for Education and the Welsh Language
  • Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • ministers as appropriate for relevant issues
  • directors-general as appropriate for relevant issues
  • chair of the National Independent Safeguarding Board
  • chair of a safeguarding board
  • chair of the Police and Crime Commissioners group in Wales
  • Welsh Police and Crime Commissioner lead on SUSR
  • chair of the SUSR strategy group
  • senior representative from the Wales Safeguarding Repository
  • Chief Constable chair of the all Wales policing board
  • Chief Executive NHS Wales
  • chair Public Health Wales
  • Chief Executive Welsh Woman’s Aid
  • Chief Executive of BAWSO (Black association of women step out)
  • representative of the SUSR victim and family reference group
  • head of the Wales safer communities board representative, Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA)
  • Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales
  • third sector representative

The standing invitation list (to be copied in to all SUSR ministerial board correspondence) will include:

  • senior Home Office representative
  • senior Coroner (leadership judge for Wales)
  • Chief Crown Prosecutor for Wales
  • Leader and Chief Executive of the WLGA (as appropriate for specific agenda items)


Secretariat support will be provided by the Welsh Government Social Services and Integration Directorate.

Frequency of meetings and timescales

Meetings will normally be held every 6 months and will be conducted remotely using Microsoft Teams or physically in Welsh Government offices, as well as other venues across Wales as required. Agenda items should be submitted no later than 2 weeks prior to each meeting, whilst allowing for urgent and emergency matters to be tabled later.

Version control

1Initial draftSarah Lamberton
2Amendments shared and ratified at board (15 March 2024)Sarah Lamberton