Who are MNSI (Maternity and Newborn Safety Investigations) and HSIB (Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch)?

If you have experienced poor care during pregnancy or childbirth, it is possible that an investigation has been opened or explored by the HSIB or the MNSI programme.

Between April 2017 and October 2023, HSIB was responsible for the national maternity investigations programme, with the purpose of providing independent and family focussed investigations into maternity care. Since October 2023 the MNSI programme has taken over this role.

Whilst HSIB and MNSI will not attribute blame, it will investigate what happened and why, which can be crucial when bringing a medical negligence claim.  The report may also make recommendations to ensure that the circumstances surrounding the poor care you received, doesn’t happen again.

MNSI logo
HSIB logo

You and your family will be given the opportunity to put your version of events forward during the investigation. Our role is to help you fight for your interests during the investigation process, to help get the answers you are looking for and make sure your voice is heard.

The investigation process usually takes around 6 months to complete. However, whilst the HSIB/MNSI investigation is ongoing, we will start our own specialist investigation into whether you or your child could have a claim for compensation.

Within maternity care, the HSIB/MNSI will always investigate 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)
    • Was therapeutically cooled
    • 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.

As HSIB/MNSI are an external body, they will need your consent to investigate.  It is your choice 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 HSIB/MNSI process can be a critical step to getting answers and compensation, but it is important to obtain advice from specialist birth injury lawyers, even if no failings in care are identified by HSIB/MNSI, as our independent medical and legal experts may form a different view.

We offer a free initial assessment of your case and are happy to discuss all of your options with you, with no obligation.

NHS Resolution Early Notification Scheme (ENS)

Once HSIB/MNSI have concluded their investigation, they will notify NHS Resolution that an investigation is complete. NHS Resolution will then decide whether your case meets the criteria for review by the Early Notification Scheme (ENS).

The ENS is designed to investigate eligibility for financial compensation in certain circumstances where a baby may have suffered a brain injury.

If your case is not referred to the ENS or that referral isn’t successful, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a claim to pursue, and we can advise you further in this respect.

It is important that you obtain independent legal advice from specialist birth injury lawyers as soon as you are told that there will be an investigation. We offer a free initial assessment and can advise and support you through this process to ensure that you obtain the best outcome from the claim, and that your child’s needs are met now and in the future.

Why CL Medilaw?

We are a different type of law firm, committed to putting clients first. We will work with you the way that suits you best, always recognising it’s not just a case, but it is your real life with the challenges and pressures that avoidable serious injury brings.

As specialist brain injury lawyers, we have the skills and experience to get the best compensation and outcome for you and we will work tirelessly to do this.


What do I do if my child’s birth was not referred to the HSIB/MNSI?

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 the MNSI programme. If a referral is not made, you can make a referral directly to the MNSI.

We would be more than happy to speak to you informally about the circumstances of your case and advise on whether it ought to be referred to the MNSI programme

I am concerned about my child’s birth but it does not meet the criteria?

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. 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.

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