If you or someone you know has experienced poor care during pregnancy or childbirth you will know it is a very difficult and emotional time for the whole family. We will support you after birth trauma to get the answers you are looking for and ensure your voice is heard through any independent investigations.
If you have experienced poor care during pregnancy or childbirth you will know it is a very difficult and emotional time for the whole family. We work with families at the earliest stages to get the answers they are looking for and ensure their voice is heard through any independent investigations.
HSIB (Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch) is a government-funded organisation that investigates incidents and concerns raised by staff, patients and their families about healthcare safety in England that occurred after 1 April 2017. HSIB became responsible for the national maternity investigations programme in April 2018.
The purpose of the maternity investigations programme is to provide an independent and family focussed investigation into maternity care. HISB and CQC work closely with families and NHS staff to identify key trends, escalate concerns and make recommendations to make maternity care safer at a local and national level.
The focus of these investigations is not to attribute blame but to find out what happened, why it happened and to make recommendations to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
This process can be a critical step to getting justice and compensation but it is important that you obtain advice from specialist birth injury lawyers, even if no failings in care are identified as our experts may form a different view. We offer a free initial assessment and are happy to discuss all your options with you.
Our role is to help you fight for your interests during the investigation process. We will advise you on the legal implications of any report findings, the potential outcomes of the investigation and the next steps to take if a claim for damages is pursued.
Within maternity care, investigations will always be carried out for any birth at term (37 weeks +) following labour which results in one of the following:
- A stillbirth – where the baby was thought to be alive at the start of labour but was born with no signs of life;
- An early neonatal death – where the baby died within the first week of life of any cause;
- Where the baby suffered a severe brain injury which was diagnosed within the first seven days of life due to one or more of the following:
- Grade 3 hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) or
- Was therapeutically cooled or
- Had decreased central tone AND was comatose AND had seizures of any kind.
They will also investigate any maternal deaths during pregnancy or within the first 42 days following the birth if the death was linked to the pregnancy. This includes deaths resulting from complications during pregnancy, labour and after birth, and also deaths from previous existing disease or disease that developed during pregnancy which was aggravated by being pregnant.
As HSIB and the CQC are an external body, they will need your consent to investigate. It is your choice as to how much involvement you have with the investigation process however, in all cases you should be sent a draft copy of the report to ensure that it is factually accurate before the report is finalised. The investigation process usually takes around six months. The final report will be anonymised and will include any safety concerns identified by the review team.
It is crucial that your interests and concerns are represented during this process. HSIB or CQC investigators will likely conduct interviews as part of their investigation. We can guide you on ensuring your concerns are addressed with the aim that the investigation is thorough and impartial.
In October 2023, HSIB is due to change and will become the Health Services Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB). The HSSIB will not look at maternity care, and the maternity investigations programme with be delivered by the CQC (Care Quality Commission), which is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.
Contact us today:
For a free initial consultation
This data will only be used by CL Medilaw for processing your query and for no other purpose.
Why choose us?
We are specialists in birth injury claims, having obtained large amounts of compensation for many children who have suffered a brain injury at birth. We push the boundaries to ensure that all avenues are explored and that even the most difficult of claim has the best chance of succeeding. At all times we put our clients first, asking the questions they want answered and ensuring they obtain the compensation they need to make life better.
No win no fee claims
We know that bringing a claim against the NHS seems daunting. We can apply for legal aid on your behalf but where this is not available or not appropriate, we offer the option of no win no fee which enables you to investigate a claim without the worry of legal fees. A member of our team will be happy to provide you with our guide to no win no fee claims or discuss this with you further. Throughout the process we are on hand to provide you with all of the help and support that you need.
Call our specialist and friendly team on 0345 2410 154 or use the contact form and we’ll call you back.
Frequently Asked Questions
From October 2023, the maternity investigations programme will be hosted by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). We understand that all existing HSIB investigations will be transferred to the CQC from that date.
It is important that you obtain advice from specialist birth injury lawyers even if no failings in care are identified as it may be that our experts form a different view. We offer a free initial assessment and will support you to pursue a claim for compensation to ensure that your family’s needs are met now and in the future.
If the circumstances of your child’s birth meet the maternity investigation criteria outlined above, the hospital should make a referral on your behalf to HSIB or CQC. If a referral is not made, you can currently make a referral directly to HSIB either by completing the online form or by telephone on 01252 222200.
If you are concerned about the circumstances of your child’s birth but it does not meet the criteria, there are other options available to you:
- You can make a complaint to the hospital and you can find out more about this here [link to complaint].
- If you are not satisfied with the response from the hospital to your complaint, you can ask the Parliamentary and Health Care Ombudsman to consider your complaint. [link to ombudsman website]. The current timescales for the Ombudsman is around six months and they currently only investigate the most serious claims.
- If you are concerned about care provided to you by a specific doctor, nurse or other health professional you can make a complaint directly to their regulatory body. For doctors, this is The General Medical Council and for midwives and nurses this is The Nursing and Midwifery Council.
It is also important that you obtain advice from specialist birth injuries lawyers to help you through this process. We can offer a free initial assessment and will help you to fight for your interests through the complaints process and advise you of the next steps to take if a claim is to be pursued.
Rainbow Hub – continuing to brighten lives during COVID-19
Life changing settlement for client who suffered avoidable brain damage at birth
PEEPs offers a little bit of calm amidst the chaos of COVID-19
Meet the team
Our experienced partners will be on hand to support you throughout the process