Our maternity investigation programme was established in 2018 as part of the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB). As of October 2023, we are now known as the Maternity and Newborn Safety Investigations (MNSI) programme and are hosted by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Establishment under the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch
The National Maternity Safety Ambition, launched in November 2015, aims to halve the rates of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths, and brain injuries that occur soon after birth, by 2025. This strategy was updated in November 2017 with a new national action plan called Safer Maternity Care, which set out additional measures to improve the rigour and quality of investigations into term stillbirths, serious brain injuries to babies and deaths of mothers and babies.
The Secretary of State for Health asked the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) to carry out the work around maternity safety investigations outlined in the Safer Maternity Care action plan. Directions were tabled in parliament to give HSIB the remit to conduct the maternity investigations programme. This work started in April 2018 and full national coverage was achieved in April 2019.
During this time HSIB was funded by the Department of Health and Social Care and hosted by the Trust Development Authority, then NHS Improvement and finally NHS England (due to mergers).
The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) carried out independent safety investigations into NHS-funded care across England through two programmes: national investigations and maternity investigations.
After the Health and Care Act 2022 was passed, between April 2022 and October 2023 HSIB went through a period of organisational transformation to become the Health Services Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB), an independent arms-length body of the Department of Health and Social Care.
The national investigations programme has continued under HSSIB. The maternity investigations programme is now known as the Maternity and Newborn Safety Investigations (MNSI) programme and is hosted by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). This is because the Health and Care Act 2022 does not make provision for maternity investigations under HSSIB.
Maternity programme related content published by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) is available on the publications page.