Have your say on the healthcare safety investigations consultation

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The Department of Health has published a consultation on providing a safe space in healthcare safety investigations. 

NHS Employers will be submitting a joint response with NHS Confederation to the 17 questions on behalf of employers by the 16 December 2016 closing date. Have your say by answering our questions about the consultation and email them to the raising concerns team by COP on Wednesday 30 November 2016

The consultation outlines a proposal to legally make sure information provided by staff as part of a health service investigation is kept confidential except in limited circumstances, i.e. where there is an immediate risk to patient safety, or where the High Court makes an order permitting disclosure. The proposal aims to reassure staff that the information they provide will not be passed on, while assuring patients and families that they will be given full facts about their care.

Introducing primary legislation would apply to incidents relating to patient safety, where investigations are undertaken by or on behalf of providers (NHS trusts and foundation trusts) or commissioners of NHS services, and towards the end of 2016, the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB). A phasing in approach is suggested, starting with maternity services. 

Have your say

HSIB aims to conduct approximately 30 investigations a year. NHS Employers is keen to make sure that employers have robust procedures in place to undertake investigations and have suitably trained staff where needed. Please email the team about any current gaps to help inform our employer response, ensuring the new provision meets the needs of organisations, staff, patients and the public. 

Why it's important to feed in your views
In Learning not Blaming, the Government's response to Freedom to Speak Up, the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) report, and Morecambe Bay investigation, the Government accepted the PASC recommendation to establish a new independent patient safety investigation branch to conduct investigations in the NHS. 

Download a copy of the consultation from the Department of Health website.

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