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Child Death Overview Panels

In the case of an unexpected child death in their local area, the LSCB is responsible for collecting and analysing information that relates to the case in order to identify lessons to be learnt and possibly uncover any matters of concern affecting the safety of children in the area. It is not the responsibility of the Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) to attempt to discover the cause of death; this remains the responsibility of the coroner or doctor who signs the medical certificate. The family of the child should foremost be assured that the purpose of the inquiry is not to apportion blame for the death but to identify how relevant agencies can perform more effectively in future.
The CDOP is instead intended to:

  • Act in cases where the death was unexpected,
  • Identify which aspects of the case were modifiable and could subsequently be handled differently in future cases,
  • Make recommendations to the LSCB’s partner agencies to facilitate better management of comparable situations in the future,
  • Refer the case back to the LSCB for a Serious Case Review if suspicion of neglect or abuse arises,
  • Identify trends and concerns over a wider area.