From April 2008 the law requires that all children’s deaths must be reviewed by the local Child Death Overview Panel.
The aim of the panel is to conduct child death reviews, collect and review information about the deaths of all children in a particular area in order to:
- Identify whether there are any patterns or trends of child deaths emerging locally
- Identify lessons that can be learned from these patterns or trends
- Take action to improve the safety and wellbeing of children in the local area
The panel meets monthly and all information is strictly confidential and treated with sensitivity and respect.
The panel is chaired by the Director of Public Health and membership includes health professionals, representatives from the local authority and the police. Find further information here about the Child Death Overview Panel Terms of Reference & membership
The remit of the CDOP also includes a Rapid Response function, which should be held within 5 working days of the death. The Rapid Response process includes a group of key professionals who come together for the purpose of enquiring into, and evaluating, the unexpected death of a child. Professionals involved in this process provide initial support to the family and help to inform the subsequent CDOP review process.