Some maternity inspections suspended to ‘minimise impact on Trusts’
8th April, 2020
In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, routine investigations into incidents involving babies treated for oxygen deprivation at birth, with no apparent brain injuries, have been suspended. The guidance released is summarised as below:
From 6 April, the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) will no longer investigate ‘maternity events’ involving ‘cooled’ babies where there is no neurological injury confirmed following therapy. HSIB also said it would stop publishing national reports but would ‘escalate accordingly’ if alerted to any serious patient safety concerns.
Trusts have been asked to continue referring details of all serious maternity cases to HSIB, requesting that Trusts ‘in effect [carry] on business as usual’.
The patient safety watchdog said it would continue to ‘accept and encourage’ referrals regarding patient safety, but these referrals would be ‘slower than usual due to the impact of the current pandemic’.
HSIB will aim to respond to each referral within four weeks. Keith Conradi, HSIB chief investigator said:
“We understand this will impact the services we can provide for some time, but given the urgency and scale of this public health emergency it is essential for us to help front-line colleagues care for the people that need it most.”
“HSIB have also developed a rapid response team which is on standby to assist with any healthcare safety issues which arise during the coronavirus outbreak, and where our expertise could bring a positive patient safety outcome.”
The Care Quality Commission has suspended routine inspections in light of the pandemic and has considered monitoring troubled Trusts remotely.
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