Child death review statutory and operational guidance: maximising learning from child deaths


A total of 4015 deaths of children aged between 0 and 18 years were registered in England and Wales in 2017. Every one of these deaths was a devastating loss that profoundly affected parents as well as siblings, grandparents, extended family and friends. Each death also affected the professionals involved in caring for the child during or at the end of their life. If child mortality rates are regarded as a ‘yardstick’ of a country’s ability to care for the most vulnerable in society, then the UK has fallen far behind its European neighbours. While the reasons for this are complex, we are not performing well as a nation in addressing known modifiable factors that impact on children’s deaths. This paper summarises the background to child death review in England, the evolving regulatory and legislative landscape and highlights the essential aspects of the new statutory and operational guidance pertinent to practising clinicians.

Click here for the full article in the BMJ Journals.