Twenty-seven papers were eligible. The perspectives of patients and families, healthcare professionals, nonclinical staff, and legal staff were sought across acute, mental health and maternity settings.
Most patients and families valued being involved; however, it was important that investigations were flexible and sensitive to both clinical and emotional aspects of care to avoid compounding harm. This included the following: early active listening with empathy for trauma, sincere and timely apology, fostering trust and transparency, making realistic timelines clear, and establishing effective nonadversarial communication.
Most staff perceived that patient and family involvement could improve investigation quality, promote an open culture, and help ensure future safety. However, it was made difficult when multidisciplinary input was absent, workload and staff turnover were high, training and support needs were unmet, and fears surrounded litigation.
Potential solutions included enhancing the clarity of roles and responsibilities, adequately training staff, and providing long and short-term support to stakeholders.