Child Death Reviews
Since 1st April 2008, Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) are required to be notified of the death of any child under 18 years whether from natural, unnatural, known or unknown causes, at home, in hospital or in the community.
The purpose is to:
Collect and analyse information about all local childhood deaths (0-18) with a view to identifying:
cases requiring serious case review
matters of concern affecting the safety and welfare of children
wider public health or safety concerns arising from a particular death or from a pattern of deaths
Undertake a co-ordinated agency response to all unexpected deaths of children.
The three LSCBs in Essex (Southend, Essex andThurrock) have jointly developed a Child Death Review Process. The latest guidance documents and forms for professionals can be accessed via the Essex Safeguarding Children Board website www.escb.co.uk and then follow the link for Child Death Reviews and Rapid Response.
The LSCB produce an Annual Report which provides information that will assist professionals in understansding child death. Although some child deaths are unavoidable, there are occasions where we may be able to reduce this risk when there are aspects known in childrens services as modifiable factors. These are things that we may be able to change, through the lifestyle that we live or through better safety precautions.
Child Death Overview Panels (CDOP)
Across Essex there are a number of Child Death Overview Panels to look at cases of an unexpected child death in their local area. It is not the responsibility of the Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) to attempt to discover the cause of death; this remains the responsibility of the coroner or doctor who signs the medical certificate. We want to reassure families that the purpose of the inquiry is not to apportion blame for the death but to identify how relevant agencies can perform more effectively in the future.
The purpose of having these panels is to identify any lessons that can be learnt and if there are any matters of concern affecting the safety of children
The Panel will :
- Review cases where the death was unexpected,
- Identify which aspects of the case were modifiable and could subsequently be handled differently in future cases,
- Make recommendations to the LSCB’s partner agencies to facilitate better management of comparable situations in the future,
- Refer the case back to the LSCB if suspicion of neglect or abuse arises that may meet the criteria for a serious case review.
- Identify trends and concerns over a wider area.
HOW CAN WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE
The Thurrock LSCB has been looking at some of those areas where it can assist in raising awareness of factors that may affect or impact on child death. The LSCB has been conducting campaigns around water safety and safer sleeping to highlight some of the things that can be done to minimise that risk.
For more information on safer sleeping, there is a variety of information and guidance to support you.
If you would like any further information please contact the LSCB Business Team.