What is the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch?

Our investigations look at factors that have harmed or may harm NHS patients. We work closely with patients, families and healthcare staff affected by patient safety incidents, and we never attribute blame or liability.


Our investigations are delivered through two programmes: national and maternity. There are differences in how they are carried out and how reports are published but the aims are the same: to share learning and to make safety recommendations that improve safety at a national level.

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New national report: Missed detection of lung cancer on chest X-rays of patients being seen in primary care

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Our new report highlights that the delayed diagnosis of lung cancer has a wide geographic spread and is well recognised as a national safety risk. Our research shows that estimated five-year survival rates in the UK are among the lowest in Europe. This reflects the fact that that two thirds of patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage.

Read the report
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Help and support

Useful links and resources to help you access the right expertise as quickly as possible.

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Our purpose is to improve patient safety through effective and independent investigations that don’t apportion blame or liability.

We carry out up to 30 national investigations each year and make safety recommendations to improve the healthcare system.

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National investigations

We investigate patient safety concerns in NHS funded care in England, issuing safety recommendations to improve patient safety.

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Can we investigate your concern?

Find out how we decide to take an investigation forward and when we're unable to investigate your concern.

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Maternity investigations

Our maternity investigation programme is part of a national action plan to make maternity care safer, bringing about real, system-wide change.

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Latest updates

New report focuses on missed diagnosis of lung cancer

Our latest report explores the impact of the missed detection of lung cancer on chest X-rays of patients being seen in primary care.
Read the full article

Healthcare Safety Investigation Conference: Resources

Nearly 1,200 people joined us for our second annual Patient Safety Investigation Conference on 16 September, making it our biggest yet.
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Report concludes review into intrapartum stillbirths during first wave of Covid-19

Our latest report sets out findings from our review into intrapartum stillbirths in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read the full article