Births, marriages, deaths

Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP)

It is a legal requirement that the death of all children under the age of 18 is reviewed by a Child Death Overview Panel. This information - for parents, families and carers - explains what we have to do when a child dies.

The death of a child is a devastating loss to every family and it is important that all child deaths are reviewed carefully to learn as much as possible. There could be ways of doing things differently, which might help other families in the future.

About the Child Death Overview Panel

The panel is made up of professionals who meet several times a year to review all child deaths in Merseyside and Isle of Man. It includes:

  • doctors
  • health specialists
  • police
  • children's services
  • education
  • legal services
  • public health

Other professionals may be invited to give specialist advice where this is needed.

Before the meeting

Information about your child will be collected from records held by hospitals, local health services (GP, health visitors and school health), school, police and other agencies who knew your child. This information is put into a report, along with details about your family, to help understand your child better.

The report will also look at what support you and your child were offered up to the point of their death and also what support your family was offered afterwards. This information is then anonymized and shared at the panel for review.

The panel meeting

Using the anonymized reports, the panel focuses on if there is anything that can be learned from the death of a child, which could be used to improved services to bereaved families in the future - it is not set up to attribute blame for the death of your child.

The panel makes recommendations and reports on any learning to the Local Safeguarding Children's Partnerships (LSCP), which will be published in their annual report. Anyone can read this, but it will not contain any information which could identify your child or family.

How you can contribute

Although parents and carers are not invited to attend the panel meetings, you can contact the CDOP Team if you wish to share your views or information you have or to ask any questions.

The information you share will be considered and treated with respect and in the strictest confidence - but please remember that we are not involved in deciding if anyone was to blame.