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Maternity Investigation: Programme Transition

Volume 730: debated on Thursday 30 March 2023

This statement updates Members on the transition of the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch’s (HSIB’s) maternity investigation programmes.

On 26 January 2022, Official Report, 25WS, by way of a written ministerial statement, the Department of Health and Social Care announced that a separate Special Health Authority would be established to continue the independent maternity investigation programme, which is currently overseen by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch.

The Department is committed to ensuring the continuation of independent, standardised maternity investigations that provide learning to the system and contribute to the Government’s ambition to halve the 2010 rates of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths and brain injuries in babies occurring during or soon after birth by 2025.

Following careful consideration, the Department has determined that the most appropriate and streamlined mechanism for delivering the valued and independent maternity investigations is for the function to be hosted within the Care Quality Commission. The purposes of the maternity investigation programme remain as set out last January: to provide independent, standardised and family-focused investigations of maternity cases for families: to provide learning to the health system via reports at local, regional and national level; analyse data to identify key trends and provide system wide learning; be a system expert in standards for maternity investigations; and collaborate with system partners to escalate safety concerns.

We will now work with the CQC and the HSIB to complete the transition of the maternity investigation programme to the CQC by October 2023.

As announced in the written ministerial statement of 9 February 2023, Official Report, 40WS, the establishment of the new HSSIB will take place in October 2023, to enable all the necessary work to be completed to ensure a smooth transition of these investigation programmes.