This written statement confirms that child death review policy will transfer from the Department for Education to the Department for Health and Social Care. More than 80% of child deaths have medical or public health causes. The Department of Health and Social Care, its arm’s length bodies and the wider NHS have a responsibility to support understanding of children’s deaths and translating learning into actions to reduce preventable deaths.
The transfer was recommended by the Wood review of the role and functions of local safeguarding children boards, published in March 2016. It includes responsibility for issuing statutory guidance relating to child death reviews, supporting child death review partners with the implementation of this guidance alongside NHS England, and putting in place transitional arrangements involving NHS Digital for the collection of local safeguarding children boards child death review data, and then, once operational, by the national child mortality database.
Related areas that remain the responsibility of the Department for Education include children’s social care, including safeguarding children and child protection.
These changes will be effective from today, 18 July 2018.