Health Services Safety Investigations Body

We investigate patient safety concerns across England to improve NHS care at a national level.

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About us

We aim to be the global leader in professional, high quality healthcare safety investigations. We investigate patient safety concerns across England to improve NHS care at a national level. Our investigations do not find blame or liability with individuals or organisations. Information shared with us is confidential and protected by law.

We are a fully independent arm’s length body of the Department of Health and Social Care.

Find out more about us
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We can investigate patient safety concerns that occur in England during the provision of healthcare services, and that have or may have implications for the safety of patients.

Our investigations can consider healthcare provided in the NHS and the independent sector. Where an investigation relates to an incident that did not occur in the NHS, we must consider whether NHS systems and practices could be improved because of our investigation.

We can also be directed to investigate a patient safety concern by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

More about our investigation process
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We offer an education programme to the NHS in England delivered by professional healthcare safety investigation experts.

Our courses are aimed at NHS staff in health and social care settings in England, who are involved in safety investigations for learning. We offer a range of courses and standalone sessions to support development and help embed professional safety investigations across the NHS.

Courses run online and are free of charge to attend for NHS staff in England.

Enrol on a course

Latest investigation reports

Healthcare professionals in a busy hospital corridor.

Temporary staff – involvement in patient safety investigations

From analysis of 30 NHS serious incident reports, we found 18 cases where temporary staff were not involved in subsequent patient safety investigations. This is the first report published as part of our workforce and patient safety theme.

Read the temporary staff report
A male patient's hand rests on a nurse call button in a hospital bed

Positive patient identification

Patient misidentification was highlighted as a risk to patient safety by the National Patient Safety Agency in the early 2000s. Despite the time that has passed, patient misidentification remains a persistent risk to patient safety that can result in significant harm.

Read the positive patient identification report
An anaesthetist performs a nasotracheal intubation of a child.

Advanced airway management in patients with a known complex disease

Improvement is needed at a national level in the communication, preparation and planning for patients who may have a ‘difficult airway’. We’ve made four safety recommendations, to NHS England and the Royal College of Anaesthetists.

Read the airway management report

News, events and blogs

A tired hospital doctor rests his head on his hand as he sits at a desk.

Share your experience of healthcare staff fatigue

We’ve just launched an investigation to look at fatigue risk in healthcare and its impact on patient safety.
Read the full article
Healthcare professionals in a busy hospital corridor.

Temporary NHS staff a ‘lost voice’ in crucial patient safety investigations

Our latest investigation has found that not involving temporary NHS staff in serious incident investigations may ‘undermine’ its ability to improve patient safety.
Read the full article
A surgical team wearing blue scrubs perform an operation in a hospital theatre.

Elective care recovery: taking a systems approach

Senior Safety Investigator, Neil Alexander, blogs about the challenges facing the NHS in tackling the elective care backlog and how learning from our investigation reports may be able to help the NHS…
Read the full article