Who we are

We are the Health Services Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB).

HSSIB came into operation on 1 October 2023. We are a fully independent arm’s length body of the Department of Health and Social Care.

We investigate patient safety concerns across the NHS in England and in independent healthcare settings where safety learning could also help to improve NHS care.

Our investigations aim to reduce patient harm by:

  • Supporting the involvement of patients, families and carers in healthcare.
  • Supporting healthcare staff to carry out their roles and care for patients safely.
  • Creating safer healthcare environments and processes.
  • Making healthcare services more efficient.
  • Sharing best practice and innovations in patient care.
Video: Introduction to the HSSIB.

Independent patient safety investigations

Our core role is to carry out independent patient safety investigations that do not find blame or liability with individuals or organisations.

Our job is to understand why patients may have been harmed or be at risk of harm. Our investigations take a system perspective and aim to reduce the likelihood of patient safety incidents from happening. We share learning and support patient safety improvements across the whole healthcare system in England.

We complete multiple investigations each year. They are carried out by a team of skilled investigators. Our investigators bring experience from safety critical industries and other professions including healthcare, military, aviation, law and human factors. We share learning in our investigation reports and make safety recommendations, safety observations and suggest local learning across the healthcare system.

During our investigations we work closely with patients, family members, healthcare staff and the public to identify hazards and risks in healthcare services which may lead to patient safety incidents. Anyone that speaks to us during an investigation can do so in confidence and the information they share is protected by law.

Education programme

We also share learning that can help healthcare staff improve patient safety in their own organisations.

Our education team has developed a curriculum based on our investigation principles and human factors expertise. Human factors, often referred to as ergonomics, is an established scientific discipline used in many other safety critical industries (such as aviation, rail transport and nuclear power stations). This learning is shared across England to embed professional safety investigations in healthcare organisations.

We have the opportunity to extend this training to the wider UK healthcare sector and globally. We already advise bodies in other countries on our investigation process and our educational role.