Child Death Overview Panel
The death of a child is a devastating loss that profoundly affects all those involved. The process of systematically reviewing the deaths of children is grounded in respect for the rights of children and their families, with the intention of learning what happened and why, and preventing future child deaths. This has been recognised by the Government who made Child Death Overview Panels (CDOP’s) compulsory in 2008. (Working Together 2018, Chapter 5)
Stockport, Tameside and Trafford are covered by one CDOP. There are 3 other CDOP’s across Greater Manchester.
The coroner will be informed of all child deaths which occur within his or her jurisdiction and decide whether a Post mortem and or Inquest will take place.
CDOPS review all child deaths regardless of the cause of death or the gestation at birth. The age range is from the child’s birth until they turn eighteen.
The CDOP comprises professionals from a medical and children’s services background such as paediatricians, GP’s, nurses, consultants, children’s services and police. There can be any number of other professions and agencies depending on the case under review.
Any recommendations to prevent future child deaths are made to the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board or all age Safeguarding Partnerships who consider the recommendations and agree an implementation plan.
All cases that are discussed at CDOP or reach the Safeguarding Partnership are anonymous.
Between April 2007 and March 2015 446 children who lived in Stockport, Tameside and Trafford died. As a result of the information provided to CDOP it was identified that similar deaths may be preventable in future. These figures of potentially preventable deaths range between 20-30% year on year.
When a child dies the CDOP officer contacts services in order to ascertain if the child or family is known to them. If the child or family is known then the agency has a legal obligation to answer the questions. If the child or family is not known then the request must be returned stating that the agency hold no relevant information.
It has been recognised that there is a wide range in the standard of information provided by agencies and also a wide range in the level of knowledge regarding CDOP is and its role.
If this information is not provided or is incomplete the Panel is limited in its ability to identify cases that may prevent similar deaths in future.
As a professional you should be aware of the Child Death Overview Process and if asked for information by the CDOP officer you should provide all the details required as soon as possible.
CDOP notification forms
CDOP supplementary forms
Resources for those affected by child death.