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8.4 Child Death Procedure

This procedure was updated on 13/01/20 and is currently uptodate.




When a child dies, in any circumstances, it is important for parents and families to understand what has happened and whether there are any lessons to be learned.

The responsibility for ensuring child death reviews are carried out is held by ‘child death review partners,’ who, in relation to a local authority area in England, are defined as the local authority for that area and any clinical commissioning groups operating in the local authority area.

Child death review partners must make arrangements to review all deaths of children normally resident in the local area and, if they consider it appropriate, for any non-resident child who has died in their area.

Child death review partners for two or more local authority areas may combine and agree that their areas be treated as a single area for the purpose of undertaking child death reviews.

Child death review partners must make arrangements for the analysis of information from all deaths reviewed.

The purpose of a review and/or analysis is to identify any matters relating to the death, or deaths, that are relevant to the welfare of children in the area or to public health and safety, and to consider whether action should be taken in relation to any matters identified. If child death review partners find action should be taken by a person or organisation, they must inform them. In addition, child death review partners:

  • must, at such times as they consider appropriate, prepare and publish reports on:
    • what they have done as a result of the child death review arrangements in their area, and
    • how effective the arrangements have been in practice;
  • may request information from a person or organisation for the purposes of enabling or assisting the review and/or analysis process - the person or organisation must comply with the request, and if they do not, the child death review partners may take legal action to seek enforcement: and
  • may make payments directly towards expenditure incurred in connection with arrangements made for child death reviews or analysis of information about deaths reviewed, or by contributing to a fund out of which payments may be made; and may provide staff, goods, services, accommodation or other resources to any person for purposes connected with the child death review or analysis process.

National Child Mortality Database


The National Child Mortality Database (NCMD) is a repository of data relating to all children’s deaths in England. It enables more detailed analysis and interpretation of all data arising from the child death review process, to ensure that lessons are learned following a child’s death that learning is widely shared, and that actions are taken, locally and nationally, to reduce child mortality.

Child Death Review should instruct their Child Death Overview Panel to submit copies of all completed forms associated with the child death review process and the analysis of information about the deaths reviewed to the National Child Mortality Database.

Find out more at

Child deaths in Buckinghamshire


For any queries about, or notifications of, child deaths, please speak to your local safeguarding lead or email via secure email: (please note this is only fully secure if you are also sending information from a secure email account).


There is information for parents and carers available from NHS England: When a child dies: a guide for parents and carers.

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidance

This page is correct as printed on Monday 18th of October 2021 07:23:16 PM please refer back to this website ( for updates.