Information for Families
One of the things you want most when your child dies is learning so that another parent doesn’t go through the same devastating experience,” bereaved mother
We aim to save and improve children’s lives in the future by learning from the past. In order to achieve this, we collate and analyse data on all child deaths in England. We are publicly-funded (NHS England) and run by the University of Bristol and, as such, adhere to high ethical and data security standards – see below for more information on data collection and storage.
Why is NCMD important?
The NCMD national data collection and analysis system is the first of its kind anywhere in the world to record comprehensive data, standardised across the country, on the circumstances of children’s deaths. Before NCMD, data was held locally. Now, with data shared across England, there is potential to identify trends and introduce changes that could improve or save the lives of more children than before.
This section explains more about our work and sets out our commitment to bereaved families. For further information about the wider support you can expect to receive after your child has died, see When A Child Dies (a guide put together by bereaved parents and support organisations to help bereaved families) and the NHS document Learning from deaths: Information for families.
See also NCMD’s Frequently Asked Questions.
The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has issued guidance on self-feeding baby pillows and prop feeders which present a risk of serious harm or death to infants. For some years the NCMD has been working with OPSS to ensure that the best evidence about...
The NCMD has been alerted to a number of sad cases of poisoning by household cleaning products in recent months. Household cleaning products can often contain dangerous chemicals that would be harmful to infants and children, who may not realise the danger. Here we...
An urgent safety alert has been issued today by the Office for Product Safety and Standards, for baby self-feeding pillows and prop feeders that present a risk of serious harm or death from choking or aspiration pneumonia. The public is urged to stop using them...
Latest publications and reports:
Surge of lower respiratory tract group A streptococcal infections in England in winter 2022 [The Lancet]
The Lancet first published this paper, based on unique NCMD data, which looks at the epidemiology and clinical profile of Group A Strep infections in winter 2022.Following low incidence of invasive group A streptococcal (iGAS) infections during the COVID-19 pandemic,...
JAMA Network Open first published this paper, based on unique NCMD data, which looks at the outcomes of children with different ethnicities.Twelve percent of infant deaths in England could be avoided if all infants in England had the same risk of death as White...
This report draws on data from the National Child Mortality Database (NCMD) to investigate infection related deaths in children and young people, and to draw out learning and recommendations for service providers and policymakers.Every child or young person whose...
Our CARE pledge to bereaved families
- Core – Your data will be used solely for our core purpose of learning lessons to improve and save lives.
- Anonymous – We will never publish information where you or your child can be identified.
- Relevant – We will only collect relevant data, including personal information about your child and their death.
- E-safety – All data is held according to strict data protection guidelines and, as such, is safe and secure.
More information on our postcard to update bereaved families on our work.
The Child Death Review (CDR) process
- A ‘Rapid Response’ where a group of professionals come together for the purpose of evaluating the cause of death in an individual child, where the death of that child is unexpected, and
- A ‘Child Death Overview Panel’ (CDOP) that comes together to undertake an overview of all child deaths under the age of 18 years.
It is intended that these processes will:
- Document and accurately establish cause of death in each individual child
- Identify patterns of death in a community so that preventable factors can be recognised and reduced
- Contribute to improved multi-professional collection of medical, social and forensic evidence where relevant
- Ensure appropriate family and bereavement support is in place, and
- Identify learning points for service provision, which relate to care of children.
For more information about the Child Death Review process, see the Government’s Child Death Review statutory guidance.
- When A Child Dies leaflet
- Information from the NHS, Learning From Death
- The Lullaby Trust’s leaflet for families about the CDR process contains a useful glossary of terms and a list of organisations to contact for bereavement support as well as information about the Child Death Review (CDR) process. Their website also provides information about sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- SUDC UK explain the process of tissue sample collection, and provide advice to parents on making decisions, in this video. Their website also provides information and support for those dealing with sudden unexplained death in childhood.
- Sands offers information about reviews after a baby has died. Their website also provides information and support regarding stillbirth and neonatal death
- The Child Bereavement UK website has a range of support and information for families of children of all ages
- The Child Death helpline offers support and advice to families whose child has died
- NCMD’s FAQs
More information and support from a range of organisations, can also be found here.