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Child Death Reviews

Local Safeguarding Children Boards have a duty to review every child death for children that are normally resident within their Local Authority area. The WSSCB Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) meets bi-monthly to review every child death and includes representatives from agencies such as Health, Public Health, Children’s & Youth services, Education, Children’s Social Care, the Coroner’s Office and South East Coast Ambulance Service.

Notification of a child death

CDOP must be notified within 24 hours of a child’s death. As soon as a professional becomes aware of a child death they should notify the West Sussex Single Point of Contact, Maggie Pugh, by completing and returning a Form A Notification of Child Death and Form A1 Case Processing Form.

Single Point of Contact details

Maggie Pugh

0330 222 5956/ 07834 614 718

Margaret.Pugh@westsussex.gcsx.gov.uk;

Rapid Response

When a child dies unexpectedly, a Rapid Response procedure is initiated by key professionals. This is a coordinated response to accurately investigate the circumstances regarding the child’s death and ensure the family is supported. Details can be found at 8.35 of the Pan Sussex Procedures.

Gathering Information for the Panel Review

Once a death notification has been received and disseminated to the relevant agencies the process of gathering information commences.  This is done using a Form B which is sent out by the CDOP Officer to all members of CDOP plus any additional agencies that are known to have supported the child and its family. Form Bs are completed by the agency and then returned to the CDOP Officer for collation.

What is the Panel looking for?

The Panel review several factors, taking into consideration all the information they have received back from the agencies, including:

  • what caused the child’s death
  • If the death was unexpected, was there was an appropriate rapid response undertaken
  • the support and treatment offered to the child and their family
  • additional training or resources required to provide an improved multi-agency response
  • any public health issues

The purpose of the review is to agree what lessons can be learnt from the death and whether any recommendations can be made to improve future practice and reduce any emerging risks to children’s safety.

Annual Report

CDOP produce an Annual report detailing the recommendations and lessons learnt during the previous year. The Annual Report is a public document and therefore it does not contain information that could identify an individual child or their family. The Annual Report for 2015-16 is available here; CDOP Annual Report 2015-16

Briefing documents

Supporting documents