The Maternity and Newborn Safety Investigations (MNSI) programme does not currently have a memorandum of understanding with the police service.

Police investigations

If it is established on referral of a maternity patient safety incident to MNSI that a police investigation has commenced or is ongoing, the MNSI investigator will contact the relevant police force area to ascertain who the investigating officer (OIC) is.

The MNSI investigator will contact the OIC to request clarification of the nature of the police involvement and whether a criminal investigation is underway.

If the police involvement concerns possible criminal offences, the MNSI investigation will be placed on hold and reviewed internally on a monthly basis.

If the police involvement has concluded that there is no ongoing criminal investigation, but information will be collated for His Majesty’s Coroner, MNSI may continue or commence our investigation. This will be discussed with the police force on a case-by-case basis.

In cases where police involvement is ongoing due to awaiting further information (e.g., post-mortem examination results) the MNSI investigation may be placed on hold and reviewed monthly.

Any cases placed on hold will be reviewed monthly and after a period of three months may be closed and returned to the referring NHS trust who may wish to conduct their own investigation.

Disclosure of information

During our maternity investigations we collect and create records. At present, we recognise that we cannot legally protect information from disclosure where there is a legal compulsion or a court order to disclose information. However, it is MNSI policy not to voluntarily disclose information unless there is evidence of a serious and continuing risk to patient safety or an overriding public interest in disclosure.

If notified by the police investigation that there is a criminal investigation, MNSI will retain all information gathered in our investigation.

How to submit a disclosure request

Any request by the police to disclose information held by MNSI must be made by contacting the information governance team by email at

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