Today it was announced by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care that the future Health Services Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB) will undertake a series of investigations focused on mental health inpatient settings.
The investigations will commence when HSSIB is formally established on 1 October 2023. The HSSIB will conduct investigations around:
How providers learn from deaths in their care and use that learning to improve their services, including post-discharge.
How young people with mental health needs are cared for in inpatient services and how their care could be improved.
How out-of-area placements are handled.
How to develop a safe, therapeutic staffing model for all mental health inpatient services.
Rosie Benneyworth, Chief Investigator at HSIB, says: “We welcome the announcement by the Secretary of State and see this as a significant opportunity to use our expertise, and the wider remit that HSSIB will have, to improve safety for those being cared for in mental health inpatient settings across England. The evidence we have gathered through HSIB investigations has helped shed light on some of the wider challenges faced by patients with mental health needs, and the expertise we will carry through from HSIB to HSSIB will help us to further understand these concerns in inpatient settings, and contribute to a system level understanding of the challenges in providing care in mental health hospitals.
“HSSIB will be able to look at inpatient mental health care in both the NHS and the independent sector and any evidence we gather during the investigations is given full protection from disclosure. It is crucial that those impacted by poor care and those working on the frontlines of the inpatient settings can share their experiences, reassured that HSSIB will use this information to improve care and not apportion blame or liability.
“At HSIB we will begin conversations with our national partners across the system, as well as talking to staff, patients and families. This will ensure that when investigations are launched in October, we have identified and will address the most serious risks to mental health inpatients within these areas and will identify recommendations and other safety learning that will lead to changes in the safety culture and how safety is managed within mental health services.”
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Source: HSIB, 28 June 2023