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A very Welsh-focused collaboration

Opportunities abound for social work from NICE and BASW Cymru partnership

Would it surprise you to know that NICE guidelines now also cover social care aspects? It certainly did for me.

As a social worker I regularly heard of NICE guidelines and was aware that they related to clinical guidance that health professionals referred and adhered to.

This was the case until April 2013 when they changed their status and officially took on the work of bringing evidence-based guidance and standards to the social care sector with the first social care guidelines Managing medicines in care homes being published in March 2014.

Since this time there has been several social care guidelines developed, the latest being Supporting adult carers published in January 2020. 

This came as a bit of a surprise to me. Had I missed some important information or announcement? Was I too focussed on my own role and oblivious to wider developments in the social care field?

In addition to the comprehensive guidelines there are quick guides which give a brief account and indicators with the aim of advising social care practitioners about the issues in a area.

These are brilliant pointers to ensuring that our practice is of the highest standard possible. 

NICE guidelines generally relate to England, but things are changing, as Dr Julie Vile – the first NICE Implementation Facilitator for Wales – states: “This is an exciting development for Wales as it’s the first time NICE have had a formal remit to support the implementation of NICE guidelines in Wales.

“One of the first things I’ve been keen to do is to bust the myths that NICE guidelines are (i) just for England and (ii) just for health. Neither are true!

“In fact, all NICE guidelines now have equal status in Wales in England, although Welsh users may need to consider the different legislative framework that sometimes applies.”

She added: “It’s great to now be working closely with BASW Cyrmu to ensure social workers are supported to implement evidence-based practice, made aware of relevant NICE guidelines, supporting tools and resources, and to open up opportunities for collaboration going forward.”

So, we have some great opportunities to start working together and hopefully amend the guidelines to reflect Wales and to promote the guidelines across the Social Care workforce in Wales.

If you want to explore these in greater detail please email me

Meryl Williams, Professional Officer BASW Cymru

Further information