Following a public consultation last year, the new version of Working Together to Safeguard Children (2023) has now been published.

Chapter 6 of the new guidance relates to child death reviews and a summary of the main changes is included below:

  • ‘Child death review partners’ are defined as the local authority and any Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) operating in the local authority area.
  • The term ‘Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) framework’ has been replaced with Child Death Review Statutory and Operational Guidance (2018)
  • The language describing the responsibility of ‘child death review partners’ towards the review of deaths of non-resident children who have died in their area has been strengthened (‘if they consider it appropriate’ to ‘as indicated’)
  • It reflects new guidance requiring coroners to send post-mortem reports to CDOPs for relevant child death reviews.
  • It reflects changes of name by removing independent review by ‘child death review partners’ and replacing with ‘child death overview panel’.
  • The language around the responsibility to inform relevant safeguarding partners and the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel where there has been evidence of abuse or neglect has been strengthened to include all professionals.

CDOPs should familiarise themselves with the new guidance and review their local processes to check if any changes need to be made to ensure compliance with the new guidance.

In February 2024 the NCMD ran a webinar explaining the changes to Chapter 6 and answering Child Death Review professionals’ questions. You can watch it here.

If you have any questions relating to the guidance, please email

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