Children: Death

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 12 July 2023.

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Photo of Damien Moore Damien Moore Conservative, Southport

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help reduce the average time families wait to undergo the Child Death Review process.

Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)

The Government published the ‘Child Death Review Statutory and Operational Guidance for England’ in October 2019.

The guidance sets out the different stages that encompass the Child Death Review Process, but does not give a set timescale within which the Child Death Review process must take place and acknowledges that timescales may vary greatly.

The length of time it takes to complete the whole process is dependent on a number of external factors, such as waiting for the final post-mortem report or coroner's inquest to take place.

Whilst there is no further working being undertaken at the moment to help reduce the average time families wait to undergo the Child Death Review process, the guidance advises National Health Service trusts on how they should support, communicate and engage with families following the death of someone in their care.

The National Child Mortality Database publishes data on the length of time between date of death and date of Child Death Overview Panel Review in its annual data release, which is available at the following link:

https://www.ncmd.info/publications/child-death-review-data-release-2022/

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