Our investigators are central to what we do. They oversee our investigations from start to finish. They operate independently of any other organisation, including the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Department of Health and NHS organisations.
Investigators work closely with patients and their families and carers, healthcare staff, trusts, hospitals and other healthcare providers in England.
Their work includes:
- gathering information
- interviewing anyone thought to be relevant to the investigation
- preserving evidence within data protection guidelines.
Scott Hislop, Principal National Investigator
Scott’s background is in aero systems engineering, having spent 28 years in the Royal Navy working on various aircraft. In 2011, he undertook an MSc in Engineering and Project Management and achieved chartered engineer status in 2012. He moved into accident investigation in 2014, working at the Defence Accident Investigation Branch as an engineering investigator focusing on the areas of maritime and aviation, before moving into healthcare investigation.
Matthew Wain, Principal National Investigator
Matthew has extensive experience in healthcare related investigations. For the last ten years he has coordinated multi-agency investigations across primary and secondary care. He also has experience in serious case reviews, domestic homicide reviews, mental health homicide investigations and has chaired a child death overview panel. Matthew has a strong interest in quality improvement and holds an MSc in Healthcare Leadership.
Kathryn Whitehill, Principal National Investigator
Kathryn has a mixed background with professional education in both clinical and legal spheres. She has healthcare regulatory experience in medical professional regulation and organisational regulation. She is an experienced NHS manager and worked for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as an acute hospitals inspector for both the NHS and private sector. Prior to HSIB she was a senior manager at Price Waterhouse Cooper where she focused on forensic healthcare investigations. Kathryn holds two masters degrees, in law, medicine and healthcare, and public health.
Neil Alexander, National Investigator
Neil worked as an aircraft engineer in the Royal Navy for over 30 years. His experience spans hands-on engineering, procurement and safety management. He led on human factors in aviation and his last position with the Royal Navy was as an accident investigator in maritime, land and aviation. Neil is a registered engineer and member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, and member of the Institute of Leadership and Management.
Dawn Benson, National Investigator
Dawn is a sociologist with a specialism in disability studies and inclusion. Much of her work has been in academia as a researcher and lecturer within healthcare, where she developed the concept of ‘high reliability parenting’ after undertaking research with families of birth injured infants. Dawn has worked at a number of universities in both social and medical sciences. Her most recent work, before joining HSIB, was with the Patient Safety Academy (PSA) in Oxford lecturing and researching healthcare investigation and human factors. Specifically, she continues to support the PSA in their work with the General Medical Council embedding human factors approaches into their fitness to practice process.
Andy Collen, National Investigator
Andy joins us on secondment from the South East Coast Ambulance Service where he is a consultant paramedic. He has been a paramedic for more than 18 years, progressing in-service through specialist and advanced practice roles, and completed a master’s degree in advanced practice in 2013. Andy brings to HSIB his experience in investigating and learning from serious incidents (SIs) and he is a member of the south east regional SI community of practice. He has a particular interest in clinical decision making and published a paramedic-focused textbook on the subject in 2017. Andy has also been a co-author, editor and contributor to several other reference books and clinical guidelines informing paramedic practice and pre-hospital care.
Nichola Crust, National Investigator
Nichola is a registered nurse trained in healthcare incident investigation. During her career she has developed clinical governance systems within primary and secondary care, identifying risks and working collaboratively with local and national bodies. She also has significant experience in nurse leadership and coaching. Nichola has completed The Health Foundation’s GenerationQ leadership and quality improvement programme, and holds an MSc in Leadership (Quality Improvement).
Paul Davis, National Investigator
Paul is a pilot whose career spans aviation and safety investigation. He worked as a helicopter instructor in the military and also flew commercial airliners. As the senior operations investigator, Paul played a pivotal role in establishing the Military Air Accident Investigation Branch and investigated several high-profile air accidents. He was awarded an MBE for his services to air safety in 2016. Before joining HSIB, he used his experience in safety culture by working with The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and The Royal College of Midwives as part of a working group focused on reducing admissions of term babies to neonatal units due to asphyxia.
David Fassam, National Investigator
David joined the army in 1991 and worked as an aviation engineer on army helicopters and unmanned air vehicles, before moving into engineering management. He studied air accident investigation at Cranfield University in 2014, working for the Military Air Accident Investigation Branch. After leaving the army in 2016 he worked at Cobham Aviation, conducting global safety investigations focused on improving safety across the aviation side of the business, before joining us at HSIB in March 2017.
Saskia Fursland, National Investigator
Saskia is an expert in accident investigation and human factors. She was previously an aviation psychologist at the Royal Air Force Centre of Aviation Medicine, where she investigated human factors in military air accidents and used her experience to take a more proactive approach to flight safety. Saskia has also provided bespoke advice to civilian air accident investigations in the UK. Saskia joined HSIB in February 2017 and has been applying her investigation and human factors skills to healthcare ever since.
Keely Galloway, National Investigator
Keely’s background is in healthcare quality improvement and safety, including clinical audits, risk management and investigation. In 2015 she was an improvement leader fellow at NIHR CLAHRC Northwest London - The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC). As part of this she led on incident investigation and management training, including duty of candour. Before joining us at HSIB she held the post of Corporate Safety and Effectiveness Manager at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
Helen Jones, National Investigator
Helen has a clinical background, with professional qualifications of registered general nurse and registered midwife. She worked in clinical practice for 14 years at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, before moving into governance, risk and patient safety roles. Before joining us at HSIB Helen was a regional quality manager for NHS Improvement. In this role she oversaw quality and patient safety at several NHS trusts. Helen holds an MSc in Healthcare Risk Management.
Melanie Ottewill, National Investigator
Melanie is a qualified nurse and social worker with a background in clinical investigations. She spent 10 years as Head of Clinical Investigations for Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, where she carried out serious incident investigations and led on the implementation of the duty of candour. Melanie has extensive teaching experience and specialist understanding of supporting patients and families through the investigation process.
Deinniol Owens, National Investigator
Deinniol is a qualified solicitor with a background in patient experience and investigations. He has investigated NHS complaints at the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) and was a patient experience manager at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Prior to HSIB, he was an inspector and inspection manager at the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Deinniol has an MSc in Healthcare Leadership and is currently studying for a further MSc in Patient Safety and Clinical Human Factors at The University of Edinburgh.
Laura Pickup, National Investigator
Laura originally qualified as a chartered physiotherapist and went on to work in the NHS. She later completed a PhD in human factors and worked in academia delivering research and consultancy to various industries. In the last 10 years she has focused on working for healthcare trusts, a medical device company and universities to consider complex healthcare safety problems. Her work has focused on considering how systems may influence organisational performance, patient and staff safety. She has taught for several universities in the field of healthcare human factors. Laura is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors.
Amber Sargent, National Investigator
Amber has been an investigator in the health sector for more than nine years. First in the central investigation team at the Healthcare Commission and then with Verita. In these roles she was involved in many independent investigations and inquiries. Amber is experienced in conducting investigations across the healthcare landscape, including acute, mental health and social care settings.