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Child death

What to do in the event of a Child's Death


The deaths of all babies / children under 18 years resident in Gloucestershire, regardless of where the death took place, should be notified to the Child Death Review Mailbox:cdop@gloucestershire.gov.uk . Deaths of children not normally resident in the Gloucestershire area and who die here should also be notified; this information will be passed onto the relevant Panel who will then coordinate the information.

For notifications, advice and information please contact the Child Death Review Co-ordinator either by email to cdop@gloucestershire.gov.uk or by telephone 01452 426228


For advice about how to support pupils and members of staff following a child death at an educational setting please contact Georgina Summers, Safeguarding Officer (education) 01452 42 6221.


All Local Safeguarding Children Boards have a statutory duty to hold a review whenever a child dies. 


The Child Death Review (CDR) process is designed to ensure Local Safeguarding Boards are in a position to learn any lessons there might be from the unexpected death of a child or young person. Further it is understood that when a child dies those left grieving; parents, siblings, other family members, friends and acquaintances, will need extra support and a good understanding as to what caused the loss of their loved one. The child death review process is designed to help with providing the appropriate support to families and schools to gain information about why children die. There are two aspects to a CDR.


  • A rapid response by a group of key professionals who come together for the purpose of  enquiring into and evaluating each unexpected death of a child.
  • An overview of all child deaths in the Local Safeguarding Children Board area (in this case the  Gloucestershire Safeguarding Children Board area), undertaken by a panel.

 An unexpected child 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. This includes children and young people with disabilities or life limiting illnesses, children and young people who die in road traffic accidents, by drowning etc and children who are admitted to a hospital ward and subsequently die unexpectedly in hospital.

During 2016/17, the panel was notified of a total number of 36 child deaths. Of these, 23 were expected child deaths and 13 were unexpected. This is an increase on the previous year where the panel were notified of 10 expected, and 9 unexpected deaths.

Each unexpected death of a child is a tragedy for his or her family and subsequent enquiries will seek an appropriate balance between forensic and medical requirements and the family's need for support and information.


Gloucestershire Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) Annual Reports


2017 - 2018 Gloucestershire CDOP Annual Report

2016 - 2017 Gloucestershire CDOP Annual Report

2015 - 2016 Gloucestershire CDOP Annual Report

2014 - 2015 Gloucestershire CDOP Annual Report

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