Independent inquiry needed into health board’s delay in raising sex abuse allegations, says Andrew RT Davies

A Welsh health board failed to carry out adequate pre-employment safety checks on a member of staff who was later alleged to have sexually assaulted vulnerable patients, an internal review has found.

Kris Wade worked in the Learning and Disabilities Directorate of Abertawe Bro Morganwwg University Health Board as a nursing assistant.

He was based in Rowan House, Cardiff, when the allegations were made. Wade later went on to murder his next door neighbour, Christine James, in a 'sexually motivated' attack.

The Welsh Conservative leader has called for an independent inquiry, saying that an internal investigation can never “wholly satisfy” the questions that remain as to the extent the health board could have acted more quickly.

Andrew RT Davies said: “The report raises some serious concerns around ABMU’s handling of shocking allegations of patient abuse at the hands of a staff member, who ought never to have been allowed to work with vulnerable adults.

“A laissez faire attitude to safeguarding and a culture of stubborn unwilling to take seriously the testimony of patients and staff members enabled Kris Wade to act out his urges with impunity for far too long.

“Given the enormity of the issues raised, an internal desktop review could never wholly satisfy the questions that remain over the true scale of the abuse, what went wrong, what lessons should be learned, and to what extent the health board could have acted more quickly.

“I would urge the Welsh Government not to delay in undertaking an independent inquiry into this case.”