The North Central London Child Death Overview Panel (NCL CDOP) extends its deepest sympathies to bereaved families following their unimaginably difficult loss.
We hope that our panel will provide support for those who have suffered the loss of a child and help us improve safeguarding.
The panel review the deaths of all under 18 residents in the North Central London (NCL) boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington, to help us to learn lessons from these deaths and to help identify ways to prevent future tragedies.
The panel meets after all information about the death has been gathered. It is attended by; Public health, the Police and Social Services. We look at all child deaths in NCL individually and seek to learn from each of them.
All the deaths are anonymised, and any lessons learned are shared with practitioners and parents both locally and nationally.
We welcome the views of parents/carers and you should contact the panel chair to share any issues you think might be relevant, or that might help us learn lessons for the future.
The Child Death Review process (for families)
After a child passes away, organisations such as schools, social care, GPs are notified.
The Child Death Review process takes the following steps:
- If the child’s death was sudden or unexpected, a Joint Agency Response begins.
- Information about how the child died is collected. This could mean that families are visited by police officers, social workers and/or health professionals and visiting the place where the child died.
- A Child Death Review meeting is held to review all the information to understand why the child died. They look into any learning points and how professional roles were carried out leading up to the time of the death. The outcomes of this meeting are passed on to the Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP)
- The independent NCL Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) meeting takes place to look at the deaths of all under 18s in North Central London. Panel members will not have been directly involved in the deaths they are discussing, and the panel meeting should take place by law to prevent future deaths.
- The information from the CDOP is shared with the National Child Mortality Database to assist in building a national picture of child deaths across the country.
If you require any further information on the process, please contact:
Huda Charif, NCL CDOP administrator: Huda.email@example.com
What is a Joint Agency Response? (JAR)
A Joint Agency Response (JAR) is when key professionals from: Health services, Police and Social Care come together shortly after a child has died, and look at all the information about the child’s death, to agree on how they might support bereaved families and try and understand the reasons behind the child’s passing.
A Joint Agency response only happens where the child’s death is:
- due to external causes.
- sudden and there is no apparent cause at the time.
- in custody, or where the child was detained under the Mental Health Act.
- unclear if the cause of death was natural.
- a stillbirth where there wasn’t a healthcare professional present.
What is a Child Death Review Meeting?
A Child Death Review Meeting (CDRM) is a meeting of the professionals directly involved in the child’s care during their life and who took part in the investigation following their death.
If the child has died at a hospital, the Child Death Review Meeting is also known as a Hospital Mortality Review meeting.
In the case of neonatal children (children that have sadly died and were under 28 days old), the Child Death Review Meeting is held at the hospital and is known as a Perinatal Mortality Review group meeting.
The Child Death Review Meeting takes place once all the information surrounding the death has been gathered and is held within three months of a child having passed. The meeting looks at what action has been taken since the child died.
A Child Death Review Meeting may be delayed if there are ongoing investigations or if the post-mortem report takes a long time to complete.
If bereaved families have any questions or would like to raise any issues, these can be shared with your key worker who will then voice them on your behalf during the Child Death Review Meeting. Your key worker will notify you of what was discussed, and you will also be offered a follow-up meeting with staff members involved. Your key worker will support you in arranging this meeting.
Support for families in North Central London
During the extremely difficult times that follow the death of a child, all bereaved families will be offered a key worker.
The key worker will keep in contact with you regularly and see what support you may need.
If you have any questions or need any advice about managing your grief, life after death or the meetings that will follow, the key worker will see to direct you to support services and make every effort to provide you with the information you need.
Key workers will be invited to all meetings that take place following the loss of your child.
They will make sure that any concerns or questions that you may have are voiced, and they will be responsible for feeding back any answers to you.
Bereavement support for families - useful websites
Key workers are responsible for linking families to bereavement support services.
The links below may help you to access support to help you manage your loss:
- NHS leaflet – When a child dies – a guide for parents and carers
- Childhood Bereavement Network
- Nelson Journey
- Grief Encounter
- Winston Wish
- Child Bereavement UK
- Hope Again
- The Compassionate Friends
- Cruse Bereavement Care
- The Lullaby Trust – Safer sleep for babies, Support for families
- Sands | Stillbirth and neonatal death charity