Local safeguarding children boards in England were statutorily required to establish local child death overview panels (CDOPs) by April 2008 to review the deaths of all children from birth up to 18 years normally resident in their area.
The primary purpose of CDOPs is to review individual deaths to inform strategic planning on how best to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children in their area. To support the CDOP function and using templates provided by the Department for Education, CDOPs collect information about each child who dies including the conclusions of the panel review.
The study was conducted in December 2012 through to March 2013. Questionnaires were emailed to all CDOPs to collect representative data, following which a series of telephone and face-to-face interviews were conducted with CDOPs, managers and chairs.