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Publication, Part of

Child Death Reviews: year ending 31 March 2018

Official statistics

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Number of Reviews

  • 3,595 child death reviews were completed in the year ending 31 March 2018. This is similar to the previous year (3,575).
  • The plateau in the number of child deaths reviewed is mirrored in the ONS data for number of child deaths registered (from 4,160 to 4,100 over the same period).
  • There seems to be a steadily increasing trend in the percentage of child death reviews assessed as having modifiable factors (22% in the year ending 31 March 2014 to 28% in the year ending 31 March 2018).

Figure 1: Number of child death reviews in England, 2013-14 to 2017-18
Graph showing steady increase in percentage of deaths with modifiable factors from 13/14 to 17/18

In the year ending 31 March 2018:

  • Over 98% (3,540) of the child death reviews had enough information for the panels to complete the reviews. There were 55 cases where the panels had insufficient information to determine if the death was preventable or not.
  • There were 90 serious case reviews that took place (3% of the 3,540 child death reviews); of these, 74% were identified as having modifiable factors. This proportion is higher than it was in the year ending 31 March 2017 (63%).
  • CDOPs in the North West identified the highest proportion of modifiable factors in child death reviews completed (38%) and London had the lowest (21%).


Figure 2: Number of child death reviews with modifiable factors, by region, 2017-18           Graph showing percentage of modifiable factors by region, with North West highest and London lowest


Insufficient information: some reviews have had insufficient information to determine if the death was preventable or not. In some cases this was because it was not possible to gather further information, for example if the coroner was unable to conclusively determine the cause of death and in other cases it was because of difficulties in obtaining accurate information, for example when a child died abroad and limited information was provided to the panel.

Modifiable factors: a death with modifiable factors is defined as where there are factors which, by means of nationally or locally achievable interventions, could be modified to reduce the risk of future child deaths.  


Last edited: 20 September 2019 1:40 pm