A national survey of adult safeguarding in NHS mental health services in England and Wales




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Taylor and Francis



Peer reviewed



Background: Following the introduction of the No Secrets (DH, 2000) guidance, the implementation and development of adult safeguarding practices and procedures across national services has become an ongoing endeavour. Despite existing research highlighting practice improvements in many services, NHS mental health services are persistently criticised for their lack of engagement with the national adult safeguarding agenda (DH, 2009).
Aim: To investigate the organisational structure, implementation and development, of adult safeguarding in NHS mental health services.
Method: A cross-sectional survey was distributed on-line to seventy-nine NHS mental health services. Results: Thirty-three completed surveys were returned, yielding a response rate of 41%. The results highlight adequate arrangements for adult safeguarding in many services; however it appears implementation is in its initial stages. Responses suggest that staff attitudes and uptake of training are the greatest barrier to practice; however barriers are also indicated at a strategic and operational level.
Conclusion: The importance of adult safeguarding must be recognised at all levels and there is an immediate need for improvement to staff training and engagement to ensure future effective practice in this area.
Declaration of Interest: There are no conflicts of interest associated with this research.


The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.


adult safeguarding practices, mental health, service provision


Fanneran, T.B., Kingston, P. and Bradley, E. (2013) A national survey of adult safeguarding in NHS mental health services in England and Wales. Journal of Mental Health, 22 (5), pp. 402-411.


Research Institute