Group of mixed colleagues have a meeting using a white board in a bright office space.

Organisational transformation

HSIB is going through organisational transformation to become the Health Services Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB). At the same time our maternity investigations programme will be formed into a separate organisation, the Maternity and Newborn Safety Investigations Special Health Authority (MNSI).

We expect both organisations to be operational in April 2023.

HSSIB

In April 2023 HSIB will officially become the Health Services Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB).

This journey began when HSIB was first set up in 2017. We are currently hosted by NHS England, whilst funded by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

Now that the Health and Care Act 2022 has received Royal Assent it means we will become a fully independent non-departmental public body, commonly known as an arm’s length body (ALB), of the DHSC.

HSSIB will have increased powers that we do not currently have as HSIB. These powers are set out in the Health and Care Act 2022.

Our independence is seen as vital to give full confidence that our investigations are impartial, no blame, and solely to learn. This is so we can support patient safety improvement across the whole healthcare system in England.

Latest HSSIB transformation updates

Our transformation began on 1 April 2022. Until we become fully operational, we remain as a shadow ALB working under the current NHS England (Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch) directions 2022. These replace the HSIB Directions 2016 (PDF).

Recruitment to the role of Chair of HSSIB is underway, with the recruitment process managed outside of HSIB.

Differences between HSIB and HSSIB

The main differences between HSIB and HSSIB are that:

  • HSSIB will have a board of executive and non-executive directors whose role is to establish and take forward the strategic aims and objectives of the new organisation. They are accountable for governance and the assurance of operations and performance.
  • HSSIB will have enhanced powers that require people and organisations to cooperate with patient safety investigations.
  • HSSIB will be able to protect the information provided during investigations from disclosure. This means that for other bodies to access it, they will need to get permission from the High Court.
  • Maternity investigations will move to a new special health authority.

New powers for HSSIB

HSSIB’s new powers will allow our patient safety investigations to:

  • start more quickly without first obtaining consent to access medical records
  • require individuals and organisations to participate
  • obtain any evidence considered relevant for an investigation
  • provide ‘safe space’ protections for evidence gathered during HSSIB investigations, formally described as ‘prohibition on disclosure’ in the Health and Care Act 2022

MNSI

The Health and Care Act does not provide for maternity investigations to continue under HSSIB.

Our maternity investigations programme will become a separate organisation, the Maternity and Newborn Safety Investigations Special Health Authority (MNSI) and will ensure our excellent programme continues. MNSI will be set up as part of our transformation.

Latest MNSI transformation updates

  • Plans to set up a special health authority to continue the HSIB maternity investigation programme were announced in Parliament in January 2022 by Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care at the time.
  • The name of the new organisation was announced as the Maternity and Newborn Safety Investigations Special Health Authority (MNSI) in August 2022.

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