A doctor comforts a woman lying in a hospital bed.

Special Health Authority announced for independent maternity investigations

by Communications team

Plans to establish a Special Health Authority to continue the HSIB maternity investigation programme have been announced in Parliament (26 January, 2022) by Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

Keith Conradi, HSIB Chief Investigator said: “We’re delighted that the hard work of our staff has been recognised. This is a really positive step for the maternity programme and gives it the opportunity to continue to improve the care provided to mothers and babies, which is fantastic news.

“Our two programmes will continue in the future through two separate organisations. Our maternity investigations programme will move to the new Special Health Authority, whilst our national investigations programme will be carried out by the soon to be established Health Services Safety Investigations Body.”

The Special Health Authority will be established for up to five years from 2022-23 to enable maximum learning to be achieved and to equip NHS trusts with the expertise, resources, and capacity to take on maternity safety incident investigations in the future.

Plans to establish the Health Services Safety Investigations Body as a non-departmental public body are contained in the Health and Care Bill 2021, and it should be fully operational by April 2023.

Impact of our maternity investigations

We became responsible for conducting independent investigations relating to intrapartum stillbirth, early neonatal death, or severe brain injury diagnosed in the first seven days of life, and maternal deaths on 1 April 2018.

In 2020-21, our maternity investigation programme completed 1,024 reports and made more than 1,500 safety recommendations to individual NHS trusts addressing a wide array of issues.

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