Maternity and Newborn Safety Investigation programme now hosted by CQC

Published: 2 October 2023 Page last updated: 2 October 2023

From 1 October 2023, the Maternity and Newborn Safety Investigations (MNSI) programme is being hosted by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

This move will enable high-quality, independent, family focused maternity investigations to continue. There will be no change to operations or workforce and there will be no interruption to ongoing investigations.

The new arrangement will ensure the MNSI programme:

  • maintains the independence of maternity investigations within the NHS 
  • has the opportunity for further collaboration within the health and social care sector 
  • is able to access more resources as part of a larger organisation, including improved analytics capacity and the opportunity to contribute best practice learning through national reporting.

The programme of investigations into maternity and newborn safety incidents was previously overseen by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB). It began in 2018 as part of the national initiative to improve safety in maternity care. 

The new hosting arrangement was announced earlier this year in a written ministerial statement. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) decided that the most appropriate and streamlined way to deliver valued and independent maternity investigations is for the function to be hosted within CQC. 

The purpose of MNSI remains the same:

  • to provide independent, standardised, and family focused investigations of maternity cases for families 
  • to provide learning to the health system through reports at local, regional, and national level
  • to analyse data to identify key trends and provide system-wide learning 
  • to be a system expert in standards for maternity investigations 
  • to collaborate with system partners to escalate safety concerns.

There is no change to how hospital trust maternity services in England refer incidents or concerns to the MNSI team. And each hospital trust will continue to have a named contact within the MNSI team. 

CQC Chief Executive, Ian Trenholm said:

"We are delighted to welcome colleagues from the Maternity and Newborn Safety Investigation programme to CQC. The team has already made significant strides in improving maternity safety and we are keen to build on this.

"The move to CQC will enable high-quality independent family focused maternity investigations to continue with the benefit of support from a larger organisation like CQC. Together with our MNSI colleagues, we are committed to providing learning to support families and the health and care workforce, contributing to the collective effort by providers and partner organisations in delivering a consistently safe maternity experience for everyone."

Sandy Lewis, Associate Director of Maternity Investigations, who will lead MNSI said:

"This is a great opportunity to build on the work that we have already done, that helps to make maternity care safer for families and colleagues. 

"The move to CQC provides a great platform to collaborate, share and disseminate best practice and learnings. I’d like to provide assurance to our families and colleagues that we will continue our work and maintain the independence of maternity investigations in the NHS."

Further information is available on the MNSI website

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