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Child Death Overview Panel

East Sussex Child Death Overview Panel Annual Report 2016-17 – Executive Summary

The Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) is an inter-agency forum that meets every two months to review the deaths of all children normally resident in East Sussex and Brighton & Hove. It is a sub-group of the Brighton & Hove and East Sussex Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) and reports to the LSCBs.

The Lullaby Trust has produced a booklet for parents and carers of a child who has died that explains the child death review and the role of the CDOP.


  • To collect and collate an agreed minimum data set on each death, having a mechanism to evaluate specific cases in depth where necessary
  • To review information on all child deaths in East Sussex and Brighton and Hove in a timely manner
  • To seek a more detailed data set for unexpected and unexplained deaths
  • To review the appropriateness of professionals’ responses; identify any lessons to be learned or issues of concern with particular focus on effective inter agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children
  • To monitor the assessment and support services offered to families of children who have died
  • To review relevant environmental, social, health and cultural aspects of each death
  • To identify any patterns or trends in local child deaths
  • To identify any public health issues and consider with the Director of Public Health how to address these
  • To increase awareness of safeguarding in the widest sense and to put forward recommendations to help prevent avoidable child deaths in the future
  • To refer to the LSCB Chair if it is thought criteria for Serious Case Review are met or there may be grounds to undertake further enquiries or investigations and explore why this had not been previously recognised
  • To refer to Police and social care if it is thought surviving children may be at risk
  • To monitor and advise the LSCB on the resources and training required locally to ensure effective inter agency response to child deaths
  • To make recommendations for any additional data to be collected locally
  • To hold a larger annual meeting to identify and discuss trends and issues; and to draw on national comparisons
  • To co-operate with regional and national initiatives to identify lessons on the prevention of avoidable child deaths
  • To prepare an annual report for consideration by the two LSCBs

Links to LSCBs and actions arising from CDOP activity

  • The LSCBs should ensure that appropriate single and interagency training is made available to ensure successful implementation of Child Death review processes
  • CDOP to report to the LSCBs who will take responsibility for disseminating lessons to be learned to all relevant agencies
  • LSCBs to ensure that findings inform the Children and Young People’s Plan
  • LSCBs to ensure that member agencies act on any recommendations made to improve policy, practice and interagency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children

Membership and Organisation


  • Designated Health Professionals for Child Protection
  • Sussex Police
  • East Sussex County Council Children’s Services Department
  • Public Health
  • Primary Care Trusts
  • South East Coast Ambulance Service, and
  • Consideration is given to representation from bereaved families’ organisations.

Larger Annual Meeting may include other agencies such as:

  • Coroner’s Service
  • • Health and Safety Representative
  • Midwifery
  • District and Borough Council
  • Registrars
  • Youth Services
  • Schools and Further Education establishments
  • Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths
  • GP representatives, and
  • Voluntary organisations.