This blog post was published by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB). Find out more about HSIB legacy.
It has been 100 days since I started with the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB).
I joined in what I thought would be the relatively quiet month of August, but quiet it most certainly wasn’t! The team and I have had much to do because HSIB is on a fast-track journey to transform into two organisations, the Health Services Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB) and the Maternity and Newborn Safety Investigations Special Health Authority (MNSI). Both will become legal entities in April 2023, our national investigations programme transforming into the HSSIB, and our maternity programme into MNSI.
Transformation obviously causes concern – change is not only concerning for our staff but also for our partners across the healthcare sector. That’s the reason I have spent my first three months developing close relationships with HSIB staff and keeping them closely informed through the process.
I have also done the same with colleagues across the healthcare system. In every conversation I have had with our stakeholders I am proud to explain the wide-ranging expertise we have within our organisation, including safety science, human factors, and an in-depth knowledge of healthcare as well as other sectors such as aviation, defence, transport, and the police – all of which help to make our investigations as thorough, professional and robust as possible.
Meeting senior leaders and colleagues from other national organisations as well as patient and family groups has been important work for me.
The conversations I have had so far have been invaluable as they have been helping my team and I develop our corporate strategy. Our strategy will give us focus and enable us to plan for our future and bring you on our journey as we make healthcare as safe as it can be for our patients.
It is clear from my discussions that we need to work more closely with you and your colleagues to identify the most serious risks to patient safety and produce recommendations that will be implemented to achieve system-wide improvement. We need to target areas where we can bring about maximum impact and challenge the system to do things differently when there is evidence that system changes are required, while maintaining our independence.
Our future will be built on keeping patients and healthcare staff at the centre of our investigations. We are constantly evolving how we involve families, staff and other organisations in how we co-create our reports and conduct our investigations. We are keen to engage primary care more, and while social care is not formally part of our remit, the practical realities of care delivery and local system changes mean that it will be elemental to how we conduct our business.
As you already know we are growing our education offering, bringing new courses online whether it is providing investigations understanding to executives and boards, or training packages to patient safety leads, or indeed to anyone who has an interest in professional healthcare safety investigations.
Through our independence we will also be working with our counterparts in Norway, Sweden and widening our circle of influence to the USA having already taken part in a briefing to the current president’s team of healthcare advisors.
While we have much to learn from others, they have much more to learn from us and we are keen to maintain our position as a global lead in healthcare safety investigations.
Making a difference
While tragedies are likely to continue, by working with the healthcare sector the scale and quantity of these occurrences will reduce as we work with our colleagues across the system. It is our belief together we can make a difference and make patient care safer.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my first 100 days and now I am looking forward to the next 100. We are on an extraordinary journey and I look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead.