The Child Death Overview Panel (see The Child Death Review Process Overview – paragraph 2) undertakes a paper based review of all child deaths in the area, excluding stillborn babies and planned terminations so that the information on child deaths can inform local strategic planning on safeguarding.
The Panel Membership has a permanent core membership drawn from the key organisations represented on the LSCB, The minimum membership should be senior management representation from:
- Public Health;
- Community child health or the designated nurse for safeguarding children;
- Children’s Social Care;
- Police and
- Designated paediatrician for unexpected deaths in childhood
These members have lead responsibility within their organisations for implementation of the procedures in relation to child deaths. Other members can be co-opted as and when required e.g. to contribute to the discussion of certain types of death (Fire Brigade, adult mental health services etc)
The Panel is accountable to the Chair of the Local Safeguarding Children Board and is chaired by a member of the LSCB.
The main functions of the Panel are to:
- collect an agreed minimum data set on each child who has died;
- hold meetings at regular intervals to enable discussion of the available information on each child’s death;
- evaluate the routinely collected data on the deaths of all children, and identify lessons to be learned or issues of concern with a particular focus on the effectiveness of inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children;
- determine whether or not the child’s death is deemed ‘preventable’;
- implement enquiries into unexpected deaths and to evaluate the reports produced by the rapid response team, considering the appropriateness of the response of professionals to the unexpected death of a child;
- review specific cases in depth;
- refer to the Chair of the LSCB any cases where it feels that the criteria for a Serious Case review are met;
- monitor the support and assessment services offered to families of children who have died;
- identify any public health issues and consider, with the Director of Public Health, how best to address these;
- provide relevant information 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;
- advise the LSCB on the resources and training needed to ensure an effective multi agency response to child death;
- ensure each partner agency of the LSCB identifies a senior person with relevant expertise to have responsibility for advising on the implementation of the local procedures on responding to child deaths within their agency.