Managing Child Death Policy revised

3rd October 2018

The NSCB Managing Child Death Policy has been revised. This review was initially undertaken due to concerns around a lack of co-ordination and gaps in services relating to the processes for managing child deaths. A multi-agency workshop was convened to explore the areas that were working well and those working less well. The review of the policy has subsequently included the Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy and Childhood (SUDIC) process which was updated in November 2016 (Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health and Royal College of Pathologists) and the changes to Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018). Child Death Reviews: Statutory Guidance was published in 2017. The final document is not yet formally published but is due to be published imminently. The responsibility for ensuring child death reviews are carried out is now held by ‘child death review partners’, the local authority and clinical commissioning groups.

The new policy highlights the importance of early information gathering, joint working across agencies and reviewing all child deaths whether expected or unexpected. This will require some changes to current practice, in particular it adds a new step for a “Child Death Review Meeting” which will be conducted in all cases. This is a multi-professional meeting with those directly involved in the case. The expectation is that this group will convene to gather information to complete a Form C which would be forwarded to the Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP). The role of CDOP will be to focus on local and national learning rather than the individual child.

Click here to read the revised policy.

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