We want and value family consent to undertake maternity investigations.
We also recognise that this may be a difficult time for you and those close to you. By sharing your experience you'll help us to see where improvements can be made for the benefit of others.
Family consent is essential for our investigations – we can’t investigate without the agreement of the family.
The trust where you were treated will tell you about HSIB and ask for your agreement to share your contact details with us, so that we can get in touch with you. We aim to contact you within five working days of receiving confirmation that you have agreed to this. When we first contact you we will explain more about how we investigate.
We prefer our investigations to start within four weeks of an incident. We know that this is an incredibly difficult time for families, but we do need written consent to start an investigation within this timeframe. Starting our investigation any later than this can reduce the quality of the evidence.
Families can choose how involved they want to be in our investigation. They can consent to an investigation but choose not to be involved at all if it’s too difficult. Or we can start, and the family can choose to get involved when we’re further along in the investigation process.
In cases where the family does not give their consent for HSIB to investigate, responsibility for conducting the investigation returns to the trust.
What to expect
We ask you to tell us what has happened, so we have a full understanding of all the facts. We understand it may be a difficult time and we’ll do all we can to support you and advise you of additional support you could access.
Our investigators do everything they can to put you at ease during the contact they have with you. They can be flexible on when and where to meet and try to make the contact work in a way that is right for you. For example, you might want to nominate another person to speak for you at times if you feel unable to do so yourself.
The investigation team will speak to key people involved. This is usually done through face-to-face interviews. If you would find it easier to be involved in a different way, for example in writing or over the phone, we can discuss different options.
We want our investigation to be as thorough as possible. This means we might need to speak to you (or a nominated person) more than once. If your contact details change it’s important to tell your investigator.
Dedicated point of contact
Our team is specially trained to work with families.
You’ll be given a named investigator as your dedicated point of contact along with how you can contact them or get a message to them.
Our team works Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and will try to respond to messages the same day during these times. If your named investigator is away for any reason, we’ll provide you with an alternative contact.
Your named investigator will keep you updated throughout the investigation.
Thorough investigations take time. The investigation team will tell you approximately how long the process might take.
When the investigation is finished, we’ll contact you to get your feedback on the draft report and then produce a final report.
The final report is anonymised and includes our safety recommendations.
The final report is shared with you, the trust and staff involved and any other appropriate organisations (for example, the local clinical commissioning group).
When your investigation is complete, we would appreciate your views on our investigation process. We use your feedback to review and improve the way we carry out investigations.
Your investigator will give you a paper copy of the questionnaire, or you can complete our online family feedback questionnaire.
All family members are welcome to give feedback, completing more than one questionnaire if needed.
You can give your name, or you can remain anonymous.
Further information is available to download in our family information leaflet.
The family information leaflet is also available to download in these languages:
Please speak with your investigator if any of your family requires this information in a different language or format. Other formats include easy read, large print and braille.