Information for NHS and healthcare staff

We understand that being involved in an investigation may make staff feel anxious or concerned. 

Our investigations do not find blame or liability with individuals or organisations. Information shared with us is confidential and protected by law.

We do not name individual staff or healthcare organisations in our investigation reports. Our focus is to share learning to help improve patient safety across the NHS in England.

Understanding the experiences of healthcare staff is a key part of all HSSIB investigations. This means our investigations can focus on the wider issues that impact the ability of healthcare staff to deliver safe and effective patient care.

Healthcare staff are involved in our investigations in several ways. Their involvement varies depending on where they work, and they type of investigation we are carrying out.

‘Frontline’ staff

Staff involved in a patient safety incident or who deliver frontline services may help our investigations:

  • Speaking with our investigators about a specific patient safety incident.
  • Helping us understand what their normal day looks like.
  • Letting us observe clinical practice.
  • Providing comment on our reports to help check and challenge our findings, safety recommendations, or safety learning.

We can choose to speak with staff on an induvial basis or speak to wider staff groups to understand their experiences, for example through focus groups or surveys.

Other healthcare staff

Healthcare staff who work in other roles or with national organisations can help our investigations by:

  • Speaking with our investigators about their job.
  • Speaking with our investigators about the role of their organisation in the healthcare system.
  • Sharing information and data to help inform our investigations.
  • Providing comment on our reports to help check and challenge our findings, safety recommendations, or safety learning.

Non-healthcare staff

We may also speak with staff who do not work in healthcare to help us better understand risks to patient safety. This includes staff who work in voluntary or charitable organisations, local and national government, manufacturers, and other non-healthcare specialists.

People involved in HSSIB investigations should be aware of our powers under the Health and Care Act 2022. Any information they share with us is protected from disclosure. We hope this can help staff feel confident when sharing information with us to help improve patient safety.