There are two elements of child death processes; the Child Death Overview Panel and the Rapid Response team.
West of England Child Death Overview Panel

Bath and North East Somerset Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) has joined with North Somerset, South Gloucester and Bristol Councils to form the West of England Child Death Overview Panel.

The Role of the CDOP is as follows;

To have an overview of all child deaths in the LSCB area. This will be carried out by the panel that:

  • Has a fixed core member ship to review these cases, with flexibility to co-opt other relevant professionals as necessary
  • Meets on a regular basis to enable each child’s case to be discussed
  • Reviews the appropriateness of professional’s responses to each unexpected death of a child, their involvement before the death, and relevant environmental, social health and cultural aspects of each child, to ensure a thorough consideration of how such deaths might be prevented in the future and
  • Identifies any patterns or trends in the local data and reports these to the LSCB

The panel will also provide a monitoring and advisory role regarding the effectiveness and appropriateness of response by professionals to an unexpected death of a child, reviewing reports produced by the Rapid Response Team (see below) and support provided to families of children who have died.

The CDOP will identify any public health issues and refer cases to the LSCB as appropriate where it considers a Serious Case Review should be undertaken.

Rapid Response Teams

Each Local Authority operates its own Rapid Response Team. The role of the Rapid Response Team is to respond to each unexpected child death as set out in the Working Together guidance. The Rapid Response team consists of members from Police; Social Care; Health; Fire and Rescue; and Ambulance services who come together to respond to any unexpected child death in the Local Authority area.

Each member of the Rapid Response Team has been trained in the process of responding to unexpected child deaths and will be familiar with both their and other professional roles when working in this area.

As part of their work Rapid Response members need to complete notification and other forms as part of the process of considering and concluding how a child may have died. These forms are available on this site below.

Definition of an unexpected death of a child

In the Working Together to Safeguard Children 2010 guidance an unexpected death is defined as the ‘death of a child that was not anticipated as a significant possibility 24 hours before the death, or where there was a similarly unexpected collapse leading to or precipitating the events that led to the death’.

The work of the team convened in response to each child’s death will be co-ordinated, usually, by a local designated paediatrician responsible for unexpected deaths in childhood. The professionals who come together as a team will carry out their normal functions in response to the unexpected death of a child in accordance with the WT guidance. They will also work according to a protocol agreed with the local coronial service. The joint responsibilities of these professionals include:

  • Responding quickly to the unexplained death of a child
  • Making immediate enquiries into and evaluating the reasons for and circumstances of the death, in agreement with the coroner
  • Undertaking the types of enquiries/investigations that relate to the current responsibilities of their respective organisations when a child dies unexpectedly. This includes liaising with those who have ongoing responsibilities for other family members
  • Collecting information in a standard, nationally agreed manner
  • Following the death through and maintaining contact at regular intervals with family members and other professionals who have ongoing responsibilities for other family members, to ensure they are informed and kept up-to-date with information about the child’s death.

For further information on the Child Death Overview Panel and the Rapid Response Team, please contact your Local Safeguarding Children Board representative or Jackie Deas, Deputy Safeguarding Lead  via email or on 01225 396810.



B2 Road traffic accident.doc 

B&NES Rapid Response Process.pdf

B3 Drowning.doc

RR Contact details1.pdf             

B4 fire.burns.doc

CDRCDOP Terms of Reference_1.pdf  

B5 poisoning.doc

CDRCDOP Team Membership.pdf

B6 other unintentional injury.doc


B7substance misuse.doc


B8 apparent homicide.doc


B9 apparent suicide.doc


B10 sudden unexpected death in infancy.doc 


B11 summary of post mortem findings.doc


Form B Agency Report Form.doc


notification final version.doc


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