Welcome to Healthcare Safety Investigations Branch (HSIB) privacy notice

HSIB respects your privacy and is committed to protecting your personal data. This privacy notice will inform you as to how we look after your personal data and tell you about your privacy rights and how the law protects you.



This privacy notice aims to give you information on how HSIB collects and processes your personal data through your use of this website (regardless of where you visit it from), the exercise of our statutory functions or when you exercise certain rights under legislation. 

This website is not intended for children and we do not knowingly collect data relating to children except as part of investigations see the maternity section

It is important that you read this privacy notice together with any other privacy notice or fair processing notice we may provide on specific occasions when we are collecting or processing personal data about you so that you are fully aware of how and why we are using your data. This privacy notice supplements the other notices and is not intended to override them.


About the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch 

Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) is setup to carry out safety investigations into incidents that occur during NHS health care provision in England. We are part of the NHS Trust Development Authority (currently operating together with Monitor as NHS Improvement). HSIB is hosted by NHS Improvement but will maintain its independence both in the conduct and the reporting of its investigations. Established in 2016 to carry out independent investigations, to report and make recommendations of how healthcare in the NHS can be improved to the benefit of all users of NHS services across England.

We were tasked by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in Directions given in 2018 to undertake Maternity Investigations. See Parliamentary Directions.

Our Data Protection Officer is Kirsty Benn-Harris who can be contacted on nhsi.privacy@nhs.net

Please find the NHSI Privacy notice here

HSIB is governed by UK law and as such is subject to GDPR and DPA (Data Protection Act) as well as other relevant legislation of England.

Personal data is information that comes in many formats; it can be electronic, paper, verbal, photographs, cctv videos etc that can identify an individual either by itself or in combination with other information. We only require data relating to the investigation. No other information is needed.

Information section 

We obtain and use information relating to individuals under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and under the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA)

1)     GDPR Articles 6 1(b, c, e) and Article 9 (b) for employment records and 

2)     GDPR Article 6 (e) Article 9 2(b, f, h, i and j) investigation records dependant on the type of information we collect.

The type of information we collect for investigations covers one or more of the items below:

  • records of face to face interview(s)
  • medical records relating to the investigation
  • medical records of patients involved in an incident
  • HR records and training information where relevant
  • CCTV monitoring of relevant areas
  • telephone and bleep records of individuals involved
  • staff rota around the time of the incident
  • relevant communications relating to the incident (before and after).

Please see the investigations section 

National investigation reports (anonymised) are published on this website.

About maternity investigations 

HSIB is tasked with carrying out an investigation “on referral of qualifying maternity cases” under Directions 2018. 

Please see the maternity section

We share our reports with specific organisations based on requirements of HSIB related Directions 2016 and 18 and GDPR Article 6 1 (e):

Maternity Investigations reports are shared with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and NHS Resolution, the trust where the incident took place and the mother, or a member of her immediate family, 

A list of our suppliers is available on request with whom we share data. We are an expanding organisation, and this is a live document and we will upload it to the website in the near future

You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues (ico.org.uk). We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO, so please email SAR@hsib.org.uk in the first instance.


It is important that the personal data we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal data changes (for example your email address) during your relationship with us


This website may include links to third-party websites, plug-ins and applications. Clicking on those links or enabling those connections may allow third parties to collect or share data about you. We do not control these third-party websites and are not responsible for their privacy statements. When you leave our website, we encourage you to read the privacy notice of every website you visit.


We may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal data about you which we have grouped together as follows.

  • Identity data includes first name, maiden name, last name, username or similar identifier, marital status, title, date of birth and gender.
  • Contact data includes email, postal address and telephone numbers
  • Health data includes information received by HSIB in the form of investigations received from members of the public and NHS staff; information relating to staff at HSIB; and internal investigations due to complaints or internal whistle-blowing. Information received relating to patient safety incidents recorded via the National Reporting and Learning System.
  • Special categories of personal data (non-health) includes information about disability, race or ethnicity, religious or philosophical beliefs, sexual orientation or information about political opinions.  It is collected to fulfil our statutory and legal requirements in investigations, the recruitment and appointment of SMEs and HSIB staff through which we monitor their capacity, capability and diversity.
  • Other personal data which does not fall within any of these categories (such as employment status and contract type, criminal convictions and offences or bank details) is held to fulfil our functions in the recruitment, appointment, development, and appraisal.
  • We hold your data in encrypted laptops and stored securely on our systems which are housed in the United Kingdom (UK) and European Economic Area (EEA). The systems are held in Microsoft data centres that meet international security standards. We have in place appropriate security to prevent access by individuals not directly employed by HSIB. We proactively monitor and update the systems to ensure data security and access is reviewed regularly. The systems are setup so that only HSIB staff assigned to this investigation can view the information relating to this investigation and only they can upload and amend data. All actions are monitored and recorded on the central systems. HSIB staff not directly taking part in the investigation are excluded from seeing the data as are IT staff who support the systems. This form, together with recordings and other information relating to you, will be uploaded and will inform the investigation.


We will only use your personal data when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we will use your personal data in the following circumstances:

  • Where we need to perform the contract, we are about to enter or have entered with you.
  • Where it is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in HSIB.
  • Where we have your consent
  • Where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation. 


  • Investigations which we undertake
  • Staff management
  • Information updates where you consent to us sending your information.

If this information is gathered for a preliminary investigation which does not lead to a full report, we will hold the data in line with UK law (please see below item)

After publication of the investigation report and its acceptance and unless you otherwise indicate to us, we will delete personal data in line with UK law (for example, for serious incidents, retention is 20 years, and this is dependent on the type of investigation) please see section for, Data Retention


We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience whilst using this website. By continuing without changing your settings, we will accept your consent to receive these cookies. However, if you wish to, you can change your browser settings to block or remove cookies at any time.

Cookies are small information files that are placed on your device. When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Cookies help us to do this. The cookies we use identify you only as a number and cannot be used to identify you personally.

We use cookies to:

  • measure how many people are using our website, so we can make it easier and faster to use
  • analyse data, anonymously, to help us understand how people interact with our website.

Current cookies 

The only cookies used on our website are for anonymous analysis of your visit to the site using the Google Analytics service and a cross-site request forgery respectively. These are third party cookies and are not tracked across multiple sites.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is used for the anonymous tracking of your use of this site. This cookie is used to store information such as when you visited the site, information about what pages you visit and whether you have been to the site before. It measures numbers and volumes of visitors to make sure users’ needs are met and to understand how our website could be better. There is no personally identifiable information contained within this cookie, but it will use your computer's IP address to determine your geographical location. We do not collect or store your personal information and we do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data.

How to control and delete cookies 

If you wish to restrict or block the cookies which are set by our websites, or any other website, you can do this through your browser settings. The ‘Help’ function within your browser should tell you how.

Alternatively, you may wish to visit About Cookies, which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of browsers. You will also find details on how to delete cookies from your machine as well as more general information about cookies.

If you do not wish for us to anonymously track your visit through Google Analytics, Google publishes a browser add-on that allows you to choose for this information to not be recorded.


We will only use your personal data for the purposes for which we collected it, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If you wish to get an explanation as to how the processing for the new purpose is compatible with the original purpose, please contact us at SAR@hsib.org.uk  

If we need to use your personal data for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you and we will explain the legal basis which allows us to do so or obtain your consent.

Please note that we may process your personal data without your knowledge or consent, in compliance with the above rules, where this is required by law.


We will not sell your data and we will use it only for the purposes of this HSIB investigation or staff recruitment and management. If required by UK law, for example, high court order, commission of criminal offence or serious risk to patient safety we will release the minimum information that has been requested or is required; if appropriate we will inform you prior to releasing any information that you have provided to us unless this is not permitted by UK law e.g. Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 etc.


We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so



We will only retain your personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements.

To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements have been considered.

All records held by HSIB will be kept for the duration specified by national guidance from the Department of Health & Social Care found in the Records management: NHS code of practice for health and social care 2016, supplemented by HSIB’s retention schedule.

We may need to hold your data for longer to ascertain trends in investigations or research similar incidents with your agreement; we will use anonymised or pseudonymised information relating to incidents in research and analysis which will help inform future investigations and monitor improvements within the NHS.

In some circumstances you can ask us to delete your data: see Request erasure below for further information.


Under certain circumstances, you have rights under data protection laws in relation to your personal data. 

Request access to your personal data (commonly known as a subject access request). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.

Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you corrected, though we may need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us.

Request erasure of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have successfully exercised your right to object to processing (see below), where we may have processed your information unlawfully or where we are required to erase your personal data to comply with local law. Note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request of erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.

Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground as you feel it impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms. In some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms.

Request restriction of processing of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your personal data in the following scenarios: (a) if you want us to establish the data’s accuracy; (b) where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it; (c) where you need us to hold the data even if we no longer require it as you need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims; or (d) you have objected to our use of your data but we need to verify whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to use it.

If you wish to exercise any of the rights set out above, please contact us on SAR@hsib.org.uk.

Withdraw consent at any time where we are relying on consent to process your personal data. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent. If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.

If you wish to exercise this right set out above, please contact on SAR@HSIB.org.uk.

Please note that we don’t require you (whether under statute or contract) to provide personal data and we do not make use of automated decision making in relation to personal data. If this changes, we shall let you know.

HSIB complies with the national data opt-out, for more information please see: https://www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters/