Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP)

Child Deaths

Making a difference together 

A child’s death is a devastating loss for any family in any circumstance and it is important that parents, families and professionals are able to fully understand what has happened and if there might be ways of doing things differently which could benefit other families in the future.  To help with this, as of April 2008, all Local Safeguarding Children Partnership Boards have had a statutory duty to hold a review whenever a child dies. The procedures to be followed are set out in Chapter 5 of Working Together to Safeguard Children – .

There are two interrelated processes for reviewing child deaths (either of which can trigger a Child Safeguarding Practice Review, previously Serious Case Reviews):

  1. Rapid response by a group of key professionals who come together for the purpose of enquiring into and evaluating each unexpected death of a child; and
  2. An overview of all child deaths (under 18 years) in the Local Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (LSCP) area(s), undertaken by a panel.

Child Death Overview Panels (CDOPs) are responsible for reviewing information on all child deaths and are accountable to the LSCP Chair.

The SUDI (Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy) and SUDC (Sudden Unexpected Death in Childhood) Protocols are the rapid response process of CDOP. They have been reviewed and merged to form a Sudden Unexpected Death in Childhood (SUDiC) Protocol.

Working Together allowed two or more Local Authority areas to join together, for the purpose of reviewing child deaths.  Our CDOP covers the Pan-Merseyside area – Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral as well as the Isle of Man.

Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP)

All initial notifications are forwarded to the CDOP Team via the Sentinel secure web-based system. Agency representatives have been trained in how to access and input into the agency report form on the system. Training is available on request from CDOP team.

Merseyside CDOP is chaired by an Independent Chair.

The core membership consists of representatives from Community, Public and Mental Health Services, Children's and Maternity Hospitals, Education, Police, Social Care, Legal Services, LSCP Business Managers and Lay members. A dedicated panel to consider neonatal deaths is held quarterly with participation from Consultant Neonatologists and a Consultant Obstetrician.

Additional representatives are invited to participate dependent on issues being considered.

A national leaflet is available to explain the CDOP process and associated procedures.

A local Merseyside leaflet is available and is distributed by the Registrars at the point at which the child’s death is registered. For child deaths leading to inquest the leaflet is provided by the Coroner’s Officers within the inquest pack. The leaflet informs parents and carers of the process that has to be undertaken and the reasons for doing so. Bereavement support resources are listed and an additional list of bereavement resources is made available.

Full information regarding the CDOP process is contained within the Merseyside CDOP Protocol.

Annual Report

Merseyside CDOP compiles an annual report which is distributed across the participating LSCPs. All CDOP reports are fully anonymised and no individual child is identified.

Merseyside and Isle of Man Child Death Overview Panel Annual Report 2022 – 2023

Child Death Overview Panel Annual Report 2021/2022

Merseyside CDOP Briefing Sessions

The information from CDOP helps to identify trends in the Merseyside and Isle of Man area and ways in which families and frontline professionals can benefit from further information or training.  These training sessions will be available to book via your LSCP.

Contact Details

Gerard Majella Courthouse
Boundary Street
L5 2QD 

Steph Quinn, Merseyside & IoM CDOP Manager – 0151 233 1151
Helen Fleming-Scott, Merseyside & IoM CDOP Administrator – 0151 233 5412