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National child death review statutory and operational guidance: Key concepts for practising paediatricians
  1. James Fraser1,
  2. Vicky Sleap2,
  3. Peter Sidebotham3
  1. 1 Department of Paediatric Intensive Care, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Bristol, UK
  2. 2 Bristol Medical School: Translational Health Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  3. 3 Health Sciences Research Institute, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr James Fraser,Paediatric Intensive Care, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Bristol, Bristol, UK; bristolfrasers{at}


In October 2018, National Health Service England published new operational guidance for reviewing child deaths, which covers all children who die less than 18 years of age regardless of the cause of death. The Guidance is for all healthcare professionals caring for children as well as senior leaders who commission, provide or regulate children’s services. It does not aim to be prescriptive but instead sets out a framework of expectations that intends to be flexible and proportionate. Its essential building blocks will be familiar to practising paediatricians: notification, investigation, review and reporting. It should be regarded as a key pillar in the hospital’s governance program.

  • mortality
  • paediatric practice

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests JF was a clinical advisor to National Health Service (NHS) England for its child death review programme. JF and PS contributed to the statutory and operational guidance.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.