The LSCB has a statutory responsibility for ensuring that a review of each death of a child, normally resident in their area, is undertaken by a Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP). This follows a separate but related process in which an initial ‘Rapid Response’ is made by a team of key professionals who come together for the purpose of enquiring into and evaluating each unexpected death.  

Bracknell Forest LSCB works in partnership with 5 neighbouring LSCBs and jointly commissions a Pan Berkshire CDOP to operate as a Pan Berkshire LSCB Sub Group and to fulfil the requirements identified in Working Together 2013.

Panel membership is drawn from organisations represented on the LSCB, but has the flexibility to co-opt other relevant professionals where necessary and that are accountable to the LSCB Chairs.

The key purpose for reviewing child deaths is to learn lessons and reduce child deaths in the future. However, the panel also identify areas in which all professionals, including healthcare and social care professionals can learn and improve the care they provide to children in order to help reduce the rates of child deaths.

As part of its function it routinely collects data on the following risk factors: maternal obesity, maternal smoking, co-sleeping, smoking parent/carer, domestic abuse, IVF, alcohol, late bookings and consanguinity of parents.

Key learning identified by CDOP:

  • work on genetic conditions that began in 2013-14 will continue in 2014-15 and an evaluation will inform county wide approaches
  • reducing rates of neonatal deaths remains a priority. Infections are more common in neonatal deaths where the child is born with a low birth weight and risk factors in the household such as smoking may be contributing factors
  • accidental deaths and in particular drowning accidents are preventable and the panel recommend use of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) swimming pool accident guidance

Important learning is achieved through the work of our local CDEOP and supplements national research such as that published by the Maternal, Newborn and Infant Clinical Outcome Review Programme (MBRRACE). The MBRRACE-UK reports  are central to monitoring the effects of initiatives to reduce rates of stillbirth and neonatal death.

Further details of this work and copies of their newsletters and annual reports can be found on their website.

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