The Barnet Safeguarding Children Partnership

Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP)

If a child is in immediate danger please call 999

Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP)

The Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) for London Borough Barnet is established in accordance with the statutory guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018). The CDOP is an independent multidisciplinary panel that provides a review of all deaths of children who are under 18 and resident in the borough of Barnet. The CDOP panel members have expertise in the fields of public health, pediatrics’ and child health, neonatology, children’s social care, nursing, midwifery, police, education, and other members who can otherwise make a valuable contribution.

When a child dies, there is a statutory requirement that the death will be comprehensively reviewed in a way which promotes learning and transparency. The CDOP receives notifications on all child deaths occurring in the local area. The Panel will seek information from professionals who had involvement with the child before and immediately following the death. The Panel will discuss each child’s case, and evaluate the data available to identify lessons to be learnt or issues of concern, with a particular focus on effective inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

The Panel will determine whether the death was deemed preventable, that is, those deaths in which modifiable factors may have contributed to the death and decide what, if any, actions could be taken to prevent future such deaths. The Panel also aims to identify any common themes from individual cases (such as road traffic deaths, sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI), or deaths of children with life-limiting conditions) and will report these back to the Local Safeguarding Children Board.

The remit of the CDOP also includes a Rapid Response function. The Rapid Response process includes a group of key professionals who come together for the purpose of enquiring into, and evaluating, the unexpected death of a child. Professionals involved in this process provide initial support to the family and help to inform the subsequent CDOP review process.

Notification of a child death to the CDOP for London Borough of Barnet

Any agency/professional should make a notification to our e-CDOP:  https://www.ecdop.co.uk/Barnet/Live/public if they become aware of:

  • a child death occurring in borough of Barnet;
  • a death of a child normally resident in this borough but occurring elsewhere

Following notification of the death of a child, the coordinator for CDOP will establish which agencies and professionals have been involved with the child or family either prior to or at the time of death by contacting the lead practitioner in each agency.

Relevant practitioners will then be sent a link to complete the e-CDOP Form B, and practitioners are kindly requested to complete as much information as possible about the child and family, but we recognise that it may not always be possible to complete all fields.

Professionals receiving Form B for completion should retrieve their agency’s case records for the child or other family members and complete the form with any information known to them or their organisation (usually within 10 to 14 days).

If you cannot access the link to the e-CDOP above, please notify the Child Death Overview Panel at (Barnet.CDOP@barnet.gcsx.gov.uk) or call our Single Point of Contact, Terri Graham on 020 8359 4049

Rapid Response Meetings

Following an unexpected child death, our Designated Doctor for CDOP will convene a meeting of key professionals in order to:

  • ensure support for the bereaved family members, as the death of a child will always be a traumatic loss - the more so if the death was unexpected
  • identify and safeguard any other children in the household or affected by the death
  • respond quickly to the unexpected death of a child
  • make immediate enquiries into and evaluate the reasons for and circumstances of the death, in agreement with the coroner when required
  • enquire into and constructively challenge how each organisation discharged their responsibilities when a child has died unexpectedly (liaising with those who have ongoing responsibilities for other family members), and whether there are any lessons to be learnt
  • collate information in a standard format using the CDOP Form B
  • co-operate appropriately post death, maintaining contact at regular intervals with family members and other professionals who have ongoing responsibilities to the family, to ensure that they are appropriately informed (unless such sharing of information would place other children at risk of harm or jeopardise police investigations)
  • consider media issues and the need to alert and liaise with the appropriate agencies
  • provide bereavement support as needed, for any other children, family members or members of staff who may be affected by the child's death
  • determine if abuse or neglect appear to be possible causes of death, LA children's social care and the police should be informed and serious case review procedures considered.

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