From April 2008 all Local Safeguarding Children Partnerships have had a statutory duty to hold a review whenever a child dies. The procedures to be followed are set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018
There are two interrelated processes for reviewing child deaths (either of which can trigger a Practice Learning Review, previously Serious Case Review):
- SUDiC Strategy Meeting (sometimes referred to as a Joint Agency 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
- An overview of all child deaths in the local safeguarding children partnership (LSCP) area(s), undertaken by a panel.
Child Death Overview Panels (CDOPs) are responsible for reviewing information on all child deaths.
The SUDiC Protocol can be found at the following website:
Merseyside & Isle of Man Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP)
All initial notifications are sent to the CDOP Team via a secure web-based system. Agency representatives have been trained to access and input into the agency report form on the system. Ongoing training is available when necessary.
Merseyside & Isle of Man 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 – there is a link to this in Working Together.
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 Child Death Review process as well as providing information about bereavement support.
Merseyside CDOP: What we have to do when a child dies
Full information regarding the CDOP process is contained within the Merseyside CDOP Protocol.
Merseyside & Isle of Man CDOP compiles an annual report to give an overview of the child death reviews which have been completed through the year. All CDOP reports are fully anonymised, and no individual child is identified, however it will give professionals a greater understanding of the issues which are impacting child mortality in their area and the progress made on previously identified issues.
Merseyside CDOP Briefing Sessions
Merseyside & Isle of Man CDOP Team are in the process of completing a lunch and learn briefing session which will be available to all Pan-Mersey professionals who want to know more about CDOP and the reasons behind the Child Death Review process.
Gerard Majella Courthouse