Date: 17 December 2015
Expires: When rescinded or replaced
1.1As of 1st April 2008 Child Death Overview Panels (CDOP) became a mandatory function accountable to local Safeguarding Children Boards. The purpose of this procedure is to implement the recommendations of Working Together to Safeguarding Children (HM Govt 2015).
1.2Within British Forces Germany, agencies work with the spirit of the Children’s Act 2004 and as part of this, this document represents an agreement between BFG/EJSU as the body with the authority designated by Commander BFG through the Area Authority oard (AAB) and its board partners as detailed in section 13, parts 4 to 6 of the Children Act 2004 (Act) (as it applies to BFG/EJSU). It also recognises the two way duty of co-operation between the BFG /EJSU and the Children’s Service Authority establishing the BFG /EJSU Safeguarding Children Board (SCB) and each board partner, as set out in Section 13, part 8 of the Act as it applies to BFG/EJSU. JSP 834 has also detailed that Overseas Commands should have procedures in place to generate a CDOP when the need arises. For areas within the European Support Group, these procedures should adapted to fit local circumstances, adopting the principles laid out within this document.
There are two inter related processes for reviewing child deaths.
- A rapid response team of key professionals who come together for the purpose of enquiring into and evaluating each unexpected death of a child. There currently exists within BFG/EJSU a response to all deaths by Service Police in accordance with current Service Police guidelines – within 7 days of a death a multi-agency meeting is convened.
- An overview of all child deaths (up to the age of 18 years (excluding babies who are still born) normally resident in the /EJSU Area of Responsibility (AOR). The BFG /EJSU SB has a responsibility for convening and maintaining a CDOP, whose responsibility it is to classify all deaths, review whether deaths were preventable, and consider recommendations to inform strategic planning to safeguard children and help prevent future deaths.
2.1When a child dies within the BFG /EJSU Area of Responsibility (AOR) the BFG /EJSU SB must collect and analyse information about each death with a view to identifying:
- Any case giving rise to the need for a Serious Case Review (SCR).
- Any matters of concern affecting the safety and welfare of children in the BFG /EJSU AOR.
- Any wider public health and safety concerns arising from a particular death or from a pattern of deaths in that area.
- When a child dies outside of the area in which they would normally reside, the two SB’s may, in some cases, decide to conduct individual reviews.
3.1Each death of a child is a tragedy for his or her family (including any siblings), and subsequent enquiries/investigations should keep an appropriate balance between forensic and medical requirements and the family’s need for support. A minority of unexpected deaths are the consequence of abuse or neglect or are found to have abuse or neglect as an associated factor. In all cases, enquiries should seek to understand the reasons for the child’s death, address the possible needs of other children in the household, the needs of all family members, and also consider any lessons to be learnt about how best to safeguard and promote children’s welfare in the future.
3.2Families should be treated with sensitivity, discretion and respect at all times, and professionals should approach their enquiries with an open mind.
3.3Chronic illness, disability and life limiting conditions account for a large proportion of child deaths in the UK. Whilst it is to be expected that children with life limiting or life threatening conditions (LL/LT conditions) will die prematurely young, it is not always easy to predict when, or in what manner they will die. Professionals responding to the death of a child with a LL/LT condition should ensure that their response to these families is appropriate and supportive, does not cause any unnecessary distress at a time when they are dealing with the tragic but anticipated, natural death of their child, and that their child’s expected death can be dignified and peaceful. The lives of children with LL/LT conditions are as valued and important as those of any other children, and hence the unexpected, death of a child with LL/LT conditions should be managed as for any other unexpected death so as to determine the cause of death and any contributory factors.
4.PROCEDURES IN THE EVENT OF A CHILD DEATH – See Annexes 1 & 2^
4.1The CDOP will undertake a review of all child deaths within the BFG AOR. This process uses a standard set of data based on information available from those organisations who were involved in the care of the child, both before and immediately after the death, and other sources such as:
- Case summaries from health records.
- Case information from service police, social care and education.
- Post mortem reports
4.2If a decision is reached that there is a need for a serious case review it would normally be undertaken by BFG SB where the child normally resides.
5.NOTIFICATION OF CHILD DEATH^
5.1All child deaths should be notified to the service police, who will contact the SIB. Additionally the BFG nominated point of contact (NPOC) should be contacted using Form A whose details are as follows:
Garrison Group Practice Manager
Tel: +49 (0)1755 730 209 (Mobile)
In the absence of Yvonne Stevens, contact:
Dr Neil Ross/ Sue Cooke
Local Clinical Director
UK Medical Centre SHAPE
Tel: +32 (0) 654 45825 (Office)
+49 (0) 176 40405738
The above will contact Dr Michael Tettenborn, who is the Designated Doctor for Child Deaths for BFG:
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 726 354
+44 (0) 7817 184 436 (Preferred contact)
5.2Royal Military Police Contact Telephone Numbers (Service Police Germany)
Sennelager, Det 110 Pro Coy 1 RMP
Sennelager Mil: 94879
BFPO 16 PSTN: +49 (0) 5254 98 + Ext
Military Police Station - 2223
Emergency - 2222
Interpreters - 2224
Police Station Fax - 2664
Joint Response Team, Spec Ops Regt RMP
Bielefeld Mil: 948 81 + Ext
BFPO 39 Civil: +49 (0)5219 254 + Ext
WOIC - 5113
Investigators - 5103
Fax - 2656
Out of hours contact to be made through Military Police Station Sennelager
Forensic Department, Spec Ops Regt RMP
Scientific Support Unit
Bielefeld Mil: 948 81 + Ext
BFPO 39 Civil: 0521 9254 + Ext
WO2 - 3091
Senior Inv - 3204
Mobile Tel No: 01722 994550
74 Sect SIB Regt RMP (Bielefeld Det)
Bielefeld Mil: 948 81 + Ext
BFPO 39 Civil: +49 (0)5219 254 + Ext
WOIC - 3019
Senior Investigator - 3091
Fax - 3311
74 Sect SIB Regt RMP (Sennelager)
Sennelager Mil: 948 79
FPO 16 Civil: +49 (0)5254 98 + Ext
OC - 2506
Crime Manager - 2823
Fax - 2599
6.DEATHS OF CHILDREN OUT OF AREA^
6.1In circumstances where a child dies in a geographical area outside of BFG/EJSU, but normally resides in BFG/EJSU, the NPOC for BFG /EJSU should be contacted.
6.2The CDOP Chair is responsible for ensuring that this process operates effectively.
7.CONSENT AND CONFIDENTIALITY^
7.1Information in CDOP meetings will be anonymised and it is best practice to seek consent before processing information about an individual, but it will be legitimate to share information with the NPOC and the CDOP Chair without seeking parental consent. Information should only be shared with those who need to know as governed by the Caldicott Principles, the Data Protection Act 1998 and Working Together (HM Govt. 2015).
7.2Persons with parental responsibility should be advised that the child’s death will be subject to a review in order that any lessons learned may help to prevent future deaths of children. This must be handled sensitively and will be undertaken by the BFG /EJSU S/EJSU B Chair of CDOP.
7.3All BFG /EJSU S B member agencies must be aware of the need to share information in all child deaths in order to enable the BFG /EJSU SB to fulfil its duty.
7.4In no case will any CDOP member disclose information, which has been dealt with by CDOP outside of the meeting other than that which is a mandated agency responsibility.
8.PROFESSIONAL AND FAMILY SUPPORT^
8.1Before the CDOP meets, the Chair should inform those with parental responsibility of the review. A template letter for parents is at Annex 5, with useful contact information at Annex 6.
8.2The Chair should also consider when feedback is given to those professionals involved and should ensure that information is also reviewed and evaluated by the CDOP regarding the services and immediate support offered to the families.
9.LEARNING FROM A CHILD’S DEATH^
9.1The CDOP will monitor and advise the BFG/EJSU SB on the resources and training required to ensure an effective inter-agency response to a child’s death.
9.2The CDOP should identify any public health issues and consider with public health services, how best to address these and identify any implications for services and training
9.3When a child’s death is described as “expected”, it is still good local practice to hold a local case discussion, since it is likely that there are lessons to be learnt that might improve the care of other children.
Notification processes for unexpected deaths in childhood
Working Together (WT) to Safeguard Children (HM Govt., 2015) sets out a statutory requirement for the Local Safeguarding Children Board to review the deaths of all children up to their 18th birthday.
(WT) states that the SB should be informed of all deaths of children normally resident in the SB’s geographical area. The Designated Doctor should be notified, via NAPH&SC of all child deaths in the area or of children usually resident in the BFG AOR but who die in another area.
Agencies responding to a child’s death as well as informing the police, if needed, should inform the NAPH&SC (for the Designated Doctor for Child Deaths).Information can be conveyed in a confidential telephone conversation but there should be agreement during this call as to who will take responsibility for completing the attached written notification proforma (Form A). Where the information is passed by telephone it will be helpful for both parties to have a copy of the proforma in front of them while talking to assist the sharing of information.
The written Notification proforma (Form A) should be completed as fully as possible and sent the same day. For deaths which occur after 5pm, at weekends or on bank holidays, the written Notification proforma (Form A) should be sent by 10am the next working day.
Parental consent is not required for this information to be passed to the NAPH & SC. It should only be shared with those who need to know as governed by the Caldicott Principles, the Data Protection Act and Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2013. Persons with parental responsibility (Children Act 1989) should be advised that the child’s death will be subject to a review in order to learn any lessons that may help to prevent future deaths of children. This must be handled sensitively. This would normally be done by the paediatrician confirming the child’s death to the parents.
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