On the day briefing: Report of the Joint Committee on the Draft Health Service Safety Investigations Bill

The Joint Committee on the Draft Health Service Safety Investigations Bill has today published a report of their pre-legislative scrutiny of the Draft Health Service Safety Investigations Bill. This briefing condenses the Committee's main chapters, conclusions and recommendations into a high level along summary, followed by our view. We are pleased the Committee has taken account of NHS Providers' concerns and recommendations offered in our written submission, letter and at an oral evidence session on 11 June. 

Key recommendations 

The Committee has endorsed the legislation's aim to establish the Health Service Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB) as a full independent safety investigation body to conduct investigations that address patient safety risks in NHS-commissioned services in England, in any setting of the care pathway including private providers and social care, using 'safe space' provisions to protect all information given to HSSIB from disclosure.

However, the Committee considered that accrediting NHS trusts to use 'safe space' would compromise the HSSIB's perceived independence and create multiple conflicts of interest for the HSSIB and for trusts. Furthermore, it has recommended against HSSIB retaining oversight of individual NHS maternity investigations, as these are not systemically focused and the draft Bill does not provide for these to operate within 'safe space'. As such, the Committee found this arrangement to be confusing and misaligned with the original purpose of the HSSIB.

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