The Patients Association has designed this survey in response to the development of the Independent Patient Safety Investigation Service (IPSIS). We would like to hear from patients, families and health care professionals on how they think IPSIS should be run, in addition to how far its remit should extend.

The Department of Health is setting up a new organisation, the Independent Patient Safety Investigation Service (IPSIS). This will launch in April 2016, and carry out specific investigations about patient safety in the NHS, as well as provide support and guidance to NHS organisations.

An Expert Advisory Group has been set up to make recommendations on how IPSIS will work. We would like to hear from patients, families and health care professionals how they think IPSIS should be run, and how far its remit should extend.

Background

IPSIS was set up by the Department of Health in England in response to two high profile reports:

- the Freedom to Speak Up report looking into clinical incidents in the NHS, produced by the Public Administration Select Committee.
- the Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust investigation, which examined issues leading to a series of maternal and neonatal deaths at that Trust over almost a decade since 2004.

The development of IPSIS also follows the Patients Association’s long-standing concerns about the Public Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), which has previously been the final port of call for patients and families who have made complaints about NHS care.

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* 1. The high-profile nature of IPSIS raises questions as to whom the organisation would be accountable.  Who do you think IPSIS should ultimately report to?

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* 2. How can the independence of the new organisation be established or maintained?  We have offered some examples below for illustration, which are not intended to be prescriptive nor all-inclusive.  Please tick all that apply.

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* 3. Who should be represented on interview panels to appoint IPSIS staff?  Please tick all that apply.

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* 4. How should patients, families and carers who have been directly affected by serious incidents be involved in IPSIS investigations? Please tick all that apply.

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* 5. How should patients, families and carers who have not been directly affected by serious incidents be involved in the running of IPSIS investigations?  Please tick all that apply.

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* 6. Given the scale of patient safety incidents in the NHS, IPSIS could not hope to investigate all reported incidents. How should the new service prioritise the incidents or concerns required for investigation, and what type of criteria could it apply?

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* 7. Do you think IPSIS should be able to investigate and report whole system failures, including regulatory and oversight failures by NHS England or the Department of Health? Please tick one box.

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* 8. What do you think is a realistic number of complaints for IPSIS to handle in any given year?  Please tick one box.

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* 9. Thinking about your previous answer, how many staff do you think IPSIS will need to firstly select and investigate incidents?  Please tick one box.

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* 10. What information should IPSIS share with the public (with due regard for patient and professional confidentiality)?  Please tick all that apply.

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* 11. What powers do you think IPSIS should have to ensure that local investigations by NHS bodies are sufficient?

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* 12. Do you have any concerns over how IPSIS’ responsibilities may interact or overlap with other investigative processes in the NHS? This might include inquests, inspections by the Care Quality Commission, or investigations by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

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* 13. There is a question as to whether IPSIS should offer recommendations for service development, or simply report findings from investigations. Do you think IPSIS should offer recommendations for action?

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* 14. If you answered yes to the above question, what responsibility should local health services have to implement these recommendations?

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* 15. What topics should IPSIS recommendations consider?  Please tick all that apply.

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* 16. Are there any areas that should not be covered by IPSIS recommendations?

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* 17. Should the implementation of recommendations made by IPSIS be monitored?

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* 18. If services fail to act upon IPSIS recommendations, do you think there should be regulatory action and enforcement?

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* 19. If you have any other comments or contributions you would like to make, please use the box below.

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