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.

Find out how we improve patient safety

The use of an appropriate flush fluid with arterial lines

A nurse presses a button on a patient monitor in a critical care unit.

A national database recorded 447 reports of adults given the wrong arterial line flush fluid between 2016 and 2021. Using glucose instead of saline as a flush fluid can result in the incorrect treatment of critical care patients with insulin, which can be fatal.

Read the report
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Healthcare Safety Investigations Conference 2022

Our annual conference returns for its third year. It's free to attend and takes place online on 21 September 2022, 10am-4pm. Our conference is for all healthcare staff and in particular those interested in patient safety and who conduct investigations.

Register for your free conference place

Our mission is to improve patient safety through professional safety investigations that do not apportion blame or liability.

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

Find out more
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National investigations

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

More about national investigations
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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.

Find out if we can investigate
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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.

More about maternity investigations
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Latest updates

New report charts brain injury risk of critical care blood sampling system

Critical care patients could be at risk if the wrong type of fluid is used to flush an arterial line – a system that is used to monitor blood pressure and glucose levels – says our latest report.
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Future name announced as we reflect on past achievements of our maternity programme

Today we can announce the name of the organisation that will take forward the work of our maternity investigation programme. At the same time, we publish our maternity ‘year in review’ report, highli…
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HSIB’s new interim Chief Investigator focused on ‘maximum impact’ patient safety

Today, Dr Rosie Benneyworth takes the helm at HSIB as we transform over the next 9 months to become two separate organisations, the Health Services Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB) and the maternit…
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