Child Deaths

The death of a child is always tragic. Talking and thinking about a child's death is a sensitive and painful subject which is particularly upsetting for parents, families and carers.

The responsibility for ensuring child death reviews are carried out is held by the child death review partners (LA and CCG) within the local area. Child death review partners must make arrangements to review all deaths of children and young people (under 18 years) normally resident within the local area and make arrangements for the analysis of information from all child deaths.

The Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP)

The Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) is a multi-agency statutory requirement of local child death review partners who review all deaths in children and young people. City of York and North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Partnerships work together to co-ordinate the review of child deaths and share learning to help safeguard children.

This statutory process has been in place since 2008 with guidance recently been updated in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018, Chapter 5 and the Child Death Review Operational and Statutory Guidance 2018 published by NHS England in October 2018.

 It is intended that the Child Death Review process will:

  • Document and try to understand the cause of death so that parents/guardians and the wider family can come to terms with the death of their child.
  • Enable parents/guardians and professionals to take steps to prevent the deaths of any other children where possible.
  • Identify patterns of deaths in a community so that preventable or avoidable hazards that may contribute to deaths can be recognised and reduced.
  • Contribute to the improved collection of forensic evidence in the very small proportion of deaths where there might be concerns about the cause of death being non-accidental. 

How to notify a child death

Professionals who become aware of a child death must notify, within 48 hours:

The Child Death Review Officer

Ali Firby

T: 01609 797167 / M: 07967 469790

Notification should be made using the Notification of Child Death Form  or the Child Death Online Notification Form, including as much information as possible and return to

This is the latest form which has been updated nationally due to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Useful Links

Child Death Review Statutory and Operational Guidance

North Yorkshire and City of York Child Death Review Arrangements

CDOP Annual Reports

NHS England “When a Child Dies” Booklet