1.3.1 Child Death Overview Panel Procedure
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Context
- 3. Core Purpose
- 4. Frequency of CDOP Meetings
- 5. Notification of Child Deaths
- 6. Functions of the Child Death Overview Panel
- 7. Consent and Confidentiality
- 8. Professional and Family Support
- 9. Learning From Child Deaths
- Notification of Child Death
This Procedure sets a minimum standard for a Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) as outlined inWorking Together to Safeguard Children (2015) and will be under constant review by MKSCB policy and procedure sub committee.
There are two inter-related processes for reviewing child deaths. Either process can trigger a serious case review.
The processes are:
Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) have a responsibility for convening and maintaining a CDOP.
When a child/ren dies within the area in which s/he normally resides, the LSCB must collect and analyse information about each death with a view to identifying:
3. Core Purpose
The CDOP will undertake an overview of all child deaths within the locality. This process uses a standard set of data (see Department for Education website) based on information available from those who were involved in the care of the child, both before and immediately after the death, and other sources such as:
The CDOP has responsibility for reviewing the deaths of all children, with priority given to those deaths that are both unexpected and unexplained.
If there is to be a serious case review, it will be undertaken by the LSCB where the child normally resides, with the decision taken by the LSCB Chair.
There will be a fixed core membership on the CDOP, which is drawn from the key organisations represented on the LSCB. There should be senior management representation from:
Other members will be co-opted as and when appropriate. This may be so that the membership of the CDOP better reflects the characteristics of the local population, to provide a perspective from the independent or voluntary sector or to contribute to the discussion of certain types of death e.g. Fire and Rescue Service, adult mental health services, education/early years, bereavement services etc.
4. Frequency of CDOP Meetings
The CDOP should hold meetings on a regular basis to enable the circumstances of each child's case to be discussed in a timely manner. The frequency of the meetings should reflect the number of cases in the LSCB area.
5. Notification of Child Deaths
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015) Chapter 5 requires that the LSCB should be informed of all deaths of children normally resident in their geographical area. To ensure this each CDOP must nominate a single point of contact (SPOC) to be informed of all child deaths in their LSCB area, regardless of whether the child is resident in the area.
The SPOC for Milton Keynes is the CDOP administrator. Notifications should be sent firstname.lastname@example.org (Telephone number: 01908 254373 and Fax number: 01908 692982).
Local agencies in Milton Keynes responding to a child's death as well as informing the coroner, if needed, must also inform the Child Health Department on 01908 243078. The Child Health Department will then inform the CDOP administrator by telephone of the child's death. The Named Nurse Child Protection in the CCG or Hospital Foundation Trust have responsibility for liaising with involved professionals and ensuring the notification form is completed and sent to the CDOP administrator. The policy public protection desk has a key role in informing the SPOC of child deaths.
Parental consent is not required for this information to be passed to the Local Safeguarding Children Board. It should only be shared with those who need to know as governed by the Caldicott Principles and the Data Protection Act. Persons with Parental Responsibility should be advised that the child's death will be subject to a review in order to learn any lessons that may help to prevent future deaths of children. This would normally be done by the paediatrician confirming the child's death to the parents.
For notification of unexpected child deaths see the Rapid Response Procedure and 'Communicating the Death of a Child in Hospital'/'Communicating the Death of a Child in the CCG'.
When a child dies in the area s/he is not permanently resident in, the SPOC for the area in which the child died will inform the SPOC in the area the child normally lived.
It should be decided on a case by case basis which Panel will take responsibility for gathering the necessary information for a Panel's consideration. In some cases this may be done jointly. The CDOP in the area where the death occurred will normally review the death and liaise with the area of permanent residency where appropriate. The two CDOPs may, in some cases, decide to conduct individual reviews. In these cases, the Chairs of both CDOPs must negotiate management of the two reviews to ensure that there is a uniform response.
Information sharing between the two CDOPs when a child dies out of his/ her normal residency area is in addition to informing the coroner within one working day, if the death was unexpected (see Rapid Response Procedure).
The CDOP Chair is responsible for ensuring that this process operates effectively.
6. Functions of the Child Death Overview Panel
Children who die in hospital will normally be reviewed by the CDOP for the area in which they lived.
The CDOP must review the circumstances of children who are normally resident in the area but who die abroad.
The key functions of the CDOP are to:
7. Consent and Confidentiality
Information in CDOP meetings will not be anonymised.
Parental consent is not required for this information to be passed to the LSCB SPOC. It should only be shared with those who need to know as governed by the Caldicott Principles, the Data Protection Act and Working Together to Safeguard Children - see Information Sharing.
Persons with Parental Responsibility should be advised that the child's death will be subject to a review in order to learn any lessons that may help to prevent future deaths of children. This must be handled sensitively. It should normally be done by the doctor confirming the child's death to the parents and followed up with a letter. (see "Rapid Response to an Unexpected Child Death"Procedure)
All MKSCB member agencies must be aware of the need to share information on all child deaths to enable the MKSCB to carry out its statutory duty.
Members of the CDOP will sign a confidentiality agreement, including sharing and securely storing information when they join the CDOP. This agreement will be reviewed at each meeting.
In no case will any team member disclose any information regarding team discussion within the CDOP outside the meeting, other than pursuant to the mandated agency responsibilities of that individual. Public statements about the general purpose of the child death review process may be made, as long as they are not identified with any specific case.
8. Professional and Family Support
Before the CDOP meets, the Chair should consider what explanatory information is sent to the child's family.
The CDOP Chair should consider what feedback is given to those professionals involved with the child's family so that they, in turn, can convey this information in a sensitive and timely manner to the family.
The CDOP Chair should ensure that information is also received and evaluated by the CDOP regarding the services and immediate support offered to families of children who have died.
9. Learning From Child Deaths
The CDOP will monitor and advise the LSCB on the resources and training required locally to ensure an effective inter-agency response to child deaths.
The CDOP will identify any public health issues and consider, with the Director(s) of Public Health, how best to address these and their implications for both the provision of services and for training.
The CDOP will contribute to regional and national initiatives to identify lessons on the prevention of unexpected child deaths e.g. CEMACH.
The CDOP will submit an annual report to MKSCB.
The MKSCB is responsible for:
Notification of Child Death
Click here to view Child-death information templates for Local Safeguarding Children's Boards.