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Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP)

Information about the Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP)

Please click here for information for parents, carers or families

Information for professionals

All Local Safeguarding Children Boards are required to have a Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) to see whether we can learn lessons from children’s deaths in order to improve the health, safety and wellbeing of other children. Through this we hope to prevent further child deaths.

Function of CDOP

The key functions of a CDOP are to:

  • review all child deaths, excluding those babies who are stillborn and planned terminations of pregnancy carried out within the law
  • determine whether the death was preventable (if there were modifiable factors which may have contributed to the death)
  • decide what, if any, actions could be taken to prevent such deaths happening in the future
  • identify patterns or trends in local data and reporting these to the BSCB
  • Refer cases to the BSCB Chair where there is suspicion that neglect or abuse may have been a factor in the child’s death. In such cases a Serious Case Review may be required.
  • Agree local procedures for responding to unexpected child deaths

The CDOP Terms of Reference contain further information on the function of the panel along with current membership.

CDOP Annual Report


The CDOP is responsible for reviewing the deaths for all children and young people up to the age of 18 who are normally resident in Buckinghamshire. Where a child dies in Buckinghamshire but normally lives in another area, that death must be notified to the CDOP in the child’s area of residence. Similarly, when a child normally resident in Buckinghamshire dies outside of this area, the Buckinghamshire CDOP should be notified. In both cases, an agreement should be made as to which CDOP (normally that of the child’s area of residence) will review the child’s death and how they will report to the other.

There are two inter-related processes for reviewing child deaths

  • Rapid response by a team of key professionals who come together for the purpose of enquiring into and evaluating each unexpected death of a child.
  • An overview of all child deaths in Buckinghamshire, undertaken by CDOP.

The BSCB Rapid Response Procedures and Child Death Overview Panel Procedures explain these processes in more detail.

Contacting CDOP

When notifying the CDOP of a child death, professionals are asked to complete Form A online through e-CDOP (see Child Death Overview Panel Procedures). All notifications will be treated as confidential.

Professionals who have a username and password for the Bucks eCDOP system can access the login page here.

For any queries please contact CDOP via secure email: secure-cdop@buckscc.gov.uk (please note this is only fully secure if you are also sending information from a secure email account)

General CDOP queries which do not include any confidential information can be sent to cdop@buckscc.gov.uk. If you have any concerns about sending us information securely then please contact us to discuss.

Buckinghamshire CDOP data

All CDOPs are required to make an annual return of data relating to child deaths to the Department for Education. Collated statistics from 2010 onwards are available on the Gov.uk website.