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Child Death Review programme

There is a national requirement that all child deaths are reviewed, for which there are approximately 700 each year in London.

The Children and Social Work Act (2017) and subsequent statutory guidance outlines changes to the bodies responsible and the process of safeguarding children and reviewing child deaths.

Healthy London Partnership Child Death Review (CDR) Programme supports London CCGs and local authorities (Child Death Review Partners) and specifically those involved in Child Death Review Meetings (CDRMs) and Child Death Overview Panels (CDOPs), to understand and meet the new requirements, maximise their impact in the prevention of child deaths, and learn lessons to improve services for children and their families. The programme is currently funded until July 2019.

Key dates include:

20 and 29 March 2019

NHS England will run two webinars (12:00 – 14:00 hours) to support understanding of the new child death review requirements which will take place.

To register, please contact NHS England at

1 April 2019

National Child Mortality Database (NCMD) goes live. Department of Health & Social Care transitional arrangements outline that data is required to be submitted on existing and new cases to NCMD from 1 April 2019. The existing data collection forms will also be changing.

29 June 2019

Local authorities & CCGs (new Child Death Review Partners) in England must publish their plans to meet the new requirements and submit them to NHS England at

29 September 2019

CDRPs in England must complete the transition to the new arrangements. After this date they must be compliant with the new statutory requirements.

2019 London Child Death Review workshops

We are running a series of workshops in London to bring together colleagues to discuss how the new Child Death Review process – and in particular the organisation of the new Child Death Review Meetings – will work in your area.

The workshops will be led by Drs Ronny Cheung and Donal O’Sullivan, Clinical Director and Clinical Advisor for the Healthy London Partnership Child Death Review Programme. The workshops will share initial considerations and learning from across London, provide an opportunity to work through practical child death review scenarios, and offer a forum for discussion.

Tools, resources and shared learning

  • Information pack:  We have developed an information pack to outline the background, challenges and considerations of the new requirements, the key dates and support available, to support local discussions. The document also includes an update on system progress across London as of February 2019.
  • We are continuing to develop a number of tools, resources and eLearning programmes to support the Child Death Review Meetings and Child Death Overview Panels in their review of child deaths. Further information will be available shortly. The team will continue to meet with stakeholders across London to share thinking and best practice about child death reviews.

Memorandum of Understanding with London Coroner

We have worked with HM Coroner for Inner South London Dr Andrew Harris, and colleagues from health and police across South East London to agree a single pathway to guide health professionals in the aftermath of managing the unexpected death of a child. This includes a memorandum of understanding from the Coroner’s officer pre-authorising certain processes after the death of a child; guidance for practitioners on statutory processes; and resources for bereavement support.

While it carries legal weight only within the Inner South London jurisdiction of Coroner Harris, we would encourage other areas to work with their stakeholders (coroners, police, hospital and community trusts, ambulance services) to use this as a template and develop and agree their own local versions in order to reduce the unnecessary variation in practice after a child’s death.

More information

If you have any queries about the CDR Programme, please email David McKinlay, Child Death Review Programme Manager.

The CDR Programme is led by Dr Ronny Cheung, Clinical Director, and Dr Donal O’Sullivan, Clinical Advisor.

Useful links

Related national programmes

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