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Child death review process

The overall purpose of the child death review process is to understand why children die and put in place interventions to protect other children and prevent future deaths.

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. Every family has the right to have their child’s death sensitively reviewed in order, where possible, to identify the cause of death and to learn lessons that may prevent future deaths.

The majority of child deaths in England arise from medical causes. Enquiries should keep an appropriate balance between forensic and medical requirements and supporting the family at a difficult time.

The responsibility for ensuring child death reviews are carried out is held by ‘child death review partners, who, in relation to a local authority area in England, are defined as the local authority for that area and any clinical commissioning groups operating in the local authority area.

Child death review partners must make arrangements to review all deaths of children normally resident in the local area and, if they consider it appropriate, for any non-resident child who has died in their area.

The partners in Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton (HIPS) have agreed to combine their area so that the HIPS locality is treated as a single area for the purpose of undertaking child death reviews.

Child death review partners must make arrangements for the analysis of information from all deaths reviewed.

The purpose of a review and/or analysis is to identify any matters relating to the death, or deaths, that are relevant to the welfare of children in the area or to public health and safety, and to consider whether action should be taken in relation to any matters identified. If child death review partners find action should be taken by a person or organisation, they must inform them. In addition, child death review partners:

  • Must, at such times as they consider appropriate, prepare and publish reports on:
    • What they have done as a result of the child death review arrangements in their area; and
    • How effective the arrangements have been in practice.
  • May request information from a person or organisation for the purposes of enabling or assisting the review and/or analysis process – the person or organisation must comply with the request, and if they do not, the child death review partners may take legal action to seek enforcement: and may make payments directly towards expenditure incurred in connection with arrangements made for child death reviews or analysis of information about deaths reviewed, or by contributing to a fund out of which payments may be made; and may provide staff, goods, services, accommodation or other resources to any person for purposes connected with the child death review or analysis process.

To notify us of the death of a child with Portsmouth please follow this link below to complete the notification form within 24 hours:

On submission of your Notification, the HIPS Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) Team will be alerted and will be able to view the Form. The Form will also automatically be shared with the National Child Mortality Database (NCMD).

You may then be contacted by the CDOP Team to share more information about your engagement with the child and their family via a Reporting Form.

Examples of the information that is to be shared via the secure online system can be seen in the following documents:

If there are any queries, the HIPS CDOP Team can be contacted at

The CDOP, both nationally and locally, occasionally conduct themed panels to review cases with a common theme.  Please see links below from recent themed panels: