What is the CDOP?
Since 1 April 2008, it has been mandatory for all Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCB) to ensure that a review of the death of any child or young person, who normally resides in their LSCB area, is undertaken by a multi-agency Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP). This remit applies to expected or unexpected child deaths (less than 18 years old) even if these children die abroad or in another LSCB area. Exemptions are stillborn babies and lawfully planned terminations.
The role of the panel is to collate and analyse relevant information, through the following 2 separate but interrelated processes (either of which can trigger a serious case review):
- The rapid response process starts at the point of the unexpected death of a child and ends with the completed report to the CDOP panel. It involves a group of key professionals, coming together soon after the death, to share information for the purpose of enquiring into and evaluating the circumstances surrounding the death. The professionals include the Coroner and Police, Hospital Consultant Paediatricians, local Ambulance Paramedics, Children’s Social Care, Designated Doctor for Child Deaths; Public Health and any other agencies involved with the child or family e.g. Health Visitors, School/Youth staff, General Practitioners.
Collaborative action is taken to ensure the bereaved are supported and if necessary protect any vulnerable child/family or members of the public. Where neglect or abuse is suspected to be a factor in the child’s death, the CDOP is to refer the case to the LSCB Chair for consideration of whether a Serious Case Review (SCR) is required.
- The CDOP review process is where a core multi-agency Panel meet bi-monthly, to undertake a comprehensive review of information on each expected or unexpected child death, once all the relevant information, for example inquests or investigation reports are available to enable review.
The CDOP members include the Chair who is the Deputy Director of Public Health, the Designated Consultant Paediatrician for Child Deaths, senior agency leads from NHS provider services (NELFT, Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group, and Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Trust), Police, Children’s Social Care, LSCB Business Manager, and where necessary, co-opted members for particular types of death. For more information about the role and responsibilities of the CDOP, please view the Terms of Reference.
These reviews help to understand how and why children die, identify any modifiable factors, learn lessons, and to enable action to be taken in order to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of children and facilitate a public health approach to potentially preventable deaths.
Following the death of a child, any professional involved in a child’s care may be contacted by the CDOP Co-ordinator to provide information relating to the child and their family. Each CDOP sends out standardised forms to collect this information from agencies based on the type of death.
Full details of the CDOP and its functions are outlined in:
- London Child Protection Procedures 5th Edition (2015), part A, chapter 9.
Under Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018, arrangements will change and a new review process put in place by June 2019.
Notification of a child death to Redbridge LSCB
Any agency/professional becoming aware of the death of a child who is normally resident in Redbridge should notify the CDOP Co-ordinator who is also the single point of contact: nem-tr.CDOP@nhs.net or call Jeanette Ford 0208708 3455 or 07701 295120.
Notifications should be made on CDOP Form A – Notification of Death.
Following notification of the death of a child, the CDOP Co-ordinator will establish which agencies and professionals have been involved with the child or family, either prior to or at the time of the death, by contacting the lead professionals in each agency.
The CDOP Form B – Agency Report Form will then be sent by the designated person to the lead professional in each agency (and to any professionals known to have been involved with the child or family) for completion.
Professionals receiving a Form B for completion should retrieve the agency’s case records for the child or other family members and complete on the form any information known to them or their organisation within the requested time (2 working days for an unexpected death and 2 weeks for an expected death).
The Co-ordinator to the Redbridge Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) and Single Point of Contact (SPOC) can be contacted via:
Address: CDOP, Lynton House, 3rd Floor (Rear), 255-259 High Road, Ilford, Essex IG1 1NN.
Telephone: 020 8708 3455 Mobile: 07701 295120