What we investigate

We can investigate patient safety concerns that:

  • occur in England during the provision of healthcare services, and
  • have or may have implications for the safety of patients.

Health Services Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB) 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 also consider whether NHS systems and practices could also 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.

There are four key principles that determine what we investigate:

  • How widespread and how common the patient safety issue is in healthcare.
  • The extent to which the issue may impact on the safety of patients, including consideration of any groups of people who may be disproportionally affected.
  • Consideration of any current or future investigations or improvement work carried out to mitigate the issue.
  • The potential for an HSSIB investigation to drive positive change and improve patient safety.