Government’s new patient safety Bill

The introduction of the Health Service Safety Investigations Bill as announced in the Queen’s Speech had its second reading in the House of Lords last week.

The legislation will establish an independent investigations body with the following aims:

  • Establish the Health Service Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB) as an independent statutory body to conduct investigations into incidents during the provision of NHS services, or at premises where such services are provided.
  • Create a ‘safe space’ where participants can provide information to an HSSIB investigation by imposing a prohibition on the disclosure of information held.
  • Amend the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 to give English NHS bodies the power to appoint Medical Examiners.
  • Place a responsibility on the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to ensure enough Medical Examiners are appointed, resourced and their performance monitored.

HSSIB investigations will take forward the core functions of the existing Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch. A number of fact sheets on specific aspects of the Bill including Medical Examiners can be found here.

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