Child death reviews
The Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) is the inter-agency forum that meets quarterly to review the deaths of all children normally resident in Portsmouth. It is a subcommittee of the Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Board (PSCB) and is therefore accountable to the PSCB Chair.
The purpose of the review is to determine whether a death was deemed preventable, that is one in which there are identified modifiable factors which may have contributed to the death. These are factors defined as those, where, if actions could be taken through national or local interventions, the risk of future child deaths could be prevented. If this is this case the panel must decide what, if any, actions could be taken to prevent such deaths in future.
Action by professionals when a child dies unexpectedly
Each death of a child is a tragedy, and enquiries should keep an appropriate balance between forensic and medical requirements, and supporting the family at a difficult time. Since April 2008 there has been a requirement for professionals to undertake a rapid response to unexpected deaths to ensure the best possible understanding of the cause of death and any contributory factors.
This procedure sets the minimum standard for Hampshire, Southampton, Portsmouth and Isle of Wight’s rapid response to an unexpected death in infancy or childhood as outlined in statutory guidance, Chapter 5, “Child Death Reviews”, Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018). Individual organisations can augment this document with additional guidance for staff members as required. The aim of the procedure is to ensure that the 4LSCB rapid response is an appropriate and coherent balance between the bereaved family’s need for sensitive, empathetic care; the need to identify and preserve anything which might explain why the child has died and the need to conclude investigations expeditiously so that the child’s funeral is not delayed unnecessarily