Child Death Overview Panels became a statutory function on 1.4.2008. The guidance for the functioning was set out in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006, revised in 2010, 2013, 2015 and 2018. Each of the five Merseyside areas set up their own CDOP that functioned until 2011.
In April 2011 four Merseyside CDOPs, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral merged to form Merseyside CDOP. In April 2014 Knowsley CDOP joined Merseyside CDOP.
Further guidance associated with CDOPs is contained within Child Death Review Statutory and Operational Guidance (England)
The functions of CDOP remain the same, namely:
- Have an overview of the deaths of children under the age of 18 years in Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral. This includes neonatal and perinatal deaths, but not stillbirths and planned terminations of pregnancy carried out within the law.
- Through early liaison between members of CDOP and the Critical Incident Group/Serious Case Review Group (CIG/SCRG), identify cases where the CIG group convene in line with LSCB procedures.
- The Panel is not concerned with blame,but focuses on identifying whether anything can be changed to prevent similar deaths in the future.
- Consider and analyse each child death based on information available from those who were involved in the care of the child and family, both before and immediately after the death, including information from the Coronial Service where appropriate.
- Have a fixed core membership to review these cases, with flexibility to co-opt other relevant professionals as and when appropriate.
- Meet quarterly for neonatal and non-neonatal deaths to enable each child's death to be reviewed in a timely manner.
- Review the appropriateness of the professionals' responses to each unexpected death of a child, their involvement before the death, and the relevant environmental, social, health, racial, religious and cultural aspects of each death, to ensure a thorough consideration of how such deaths might be prevented in the future.
- Report quarterly to the respective bodies progressing the multi-agency safeguarding arrangements, and identify any patterns or trends in the local data. An annual report is provided to LSCP.
For more information, please visit the CDOP page of the Liverpool Safeguarding Children Partnership website