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Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health

Improving the health of mothers, babies and children

Overview Maternal and Perinatal Health
Maternal & Perinatal Mortality Surveillance
Saving Mothers' Lives
Obesity in Pregnancy
Near term Intrapartum death & Neonatal Encephalopathy
Diabetes in Pregnancy
CEMACH/UCL Diabetes Project
Local clinical audits

Child Health
New Child Health Enquiry Topic
Child Death Review
Confidential Enquiry into Head Injury in Children

Child Death Review


The Child Death Review study provides an overview of all child deaths occurring between 1 January and 31 December 2006 from 28 days to 18 years in the South West, West Midlands and North East of England and in Wales and Northern Ireland.

A protocol and core data set for the Child Death Review were developed by a project working group which included lead clinicians from each of the participating regions.

Core data on all child deaths identified in these regions was collected and detailed local multidisciplinary reviews were held on a sample of 150 of these deaths with a focus on identifying preventable and avoidable factors. It is envisaged that this project will build a foundation for further confidential enquiry work on children, provide lessons on the conduct of reviews of child deaths and identify important areas to consider in reducing avoidable deaths of children.  

The work is also being used to inform the development of a minimum data set for use by Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) when they take up their child death review functions in April 2008 and CEMACH plans to issue a report in Autumn 2007 specifically on the dataset to share with LSCBs our experience of using the dataset.

The final CEMACH report on the child death review can be purchased or downloaded for free from our publications page.

Children's participation

Following recommendations from the Patient Information Advisory Group (PIAG), CEMACH commissioned the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) to undertake a consultation exercise with young people between the ages of 14-18 to discuss the ethical issues and sensitivities associated with the collection of information about children that die specifically within this age group.  These consultations took place at 2 locations within the London area in February 2006.  
The young people involved in these consultations were able to identify CEMACH’s work as valuable and highlighted the significant educational and preventative impact this could have on children’s lives.  There was consensus among both groups that “the benefits of collecting data in this way would always outweigh the sensitivities, as it can prevent similar situations happening again”.  Following the success of these consultations, CEMACH is currently considering ways in which young people can continue to be involved in the national confidential enquiry into child health.  

Please click here to download a copy of the full NCB Report on the participation of young people in this project.  

For further information on these projects, please contact Gale Pearson or Rosie Houston on 020 7486 1191

Publications Information


Please click here to read an *IMPORTANT ERRATA* in relation to the 'Why Children Die: A pilot study' (2006) report.

The full report 'Why Children Die: A pilot study (2006) is available to purchase or download for free from our publications page. 

CEMACH Child Death Review Core Dataset Collection Form

Please note that the dataset form you will find below should not be used for implementation of LSCB responsibilities under "Working Together to Safeguard Children" as from 1 April 2008.  The dataset has been modified for this purpose and the new versions are available from the Department for Children, Schools and Families website - please click here to be taken to these forms. Please contact your LSCB for information regarding the review of child deaths in your area.

Important: CEMACH continue to collect data on all neonatal deaths (up to 28 days). The standard CEMACH Perinatal Mortality Surveillance 2008 form should continue to be completed as normal.  





Data Collection Forms and other useful documents

CEMACH Perinatal Mortality Surveillance Data Collection Form (2008)
Child Death Review - Core Data Set
Child Death Review - Multidisciplinary Case Review Form
Microsoft Word - WCD Erratum 17_July_2008