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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
Child Death Review
Confidential Enquiry on Head Injury in Children

Confidential Enquiry on Head Injury in Children


A study on head injury in children is intended to be the principle project within CEMACH’s national child health enquiry for 2009-2012.  Traumatic head injury is the most common cause of morbidity, mortality, disability and lost years of productive life in children. To date there has not been a national study that is specific to head injury in children which tracks the care pathway from scene of injury to intensive care treatment and the CEMACH study therefore promises to make a major contribution to the care of this patient group. 

The management of head injury in children involves specific challenges which require their own in depth investigation if outcomes are to be improved. Children’s care needs are very different to those of adults and in addition vary depending on the age of the child. The aim of the head injury in children study is to therefore build up the evidence base concerning how early management of head injury in children affects health outcomes and to identify avoidable factors associated with adverse outcomes.

The enquiry will include:

  • a national survey of all Ambulance Service and Acute NHS trusts to ascertain current policy, protocols and practice in the pre-hospital and hospital management of head injury in children.
  • collection of core data on children (up to 15 years old) admitted to hospital with an isolated head injury or a  head injury as part of a pattern of injuries over a six month period.
  • confidential enquiry panels on a sample of cases

The project is expected to run from 2009 - 2012 with the six months of data collection commencing in July 2009.

CEMACH is currently developing the protocol for the enquiry and CEMACH has recently contacted all Clinical Directors of Children’s Services to ask them to nominate a local coordinator in their hospital for this enquiry. Please click here for information on the role of the local enquiry coordinator. If you wish to nominate yourself as the local coordinator for your unit please click here to download a notification form. Please return this to your local regional manager.

For further information on the project please click here or contact Rosie Houston on 020 7467 3232.

Publications Information

Data Collection Forms and other useful documents

CEMACH Child Health Local Enquiry Coordinator notification form
CEMACH Head Injury - Information for Local Enquiry Coordinators (Website)
October 2008 CEMACH Head injury project_Summary for Stakeholders