Child Death Review Report : Scottish Government Child Death Review Working Group

A report by a Scottish Government short-life working group which explored current practice in Scotland and considered whether Scotland should introduce a national collaborative multi-agency system for reviewing the circumstances surrounding the death of a child.

Appendix 8: Tayside Pilot of Child Death Review Model: Lead Researcher: Dr Alyson Leslie

The Fatality Investigation and Review Studies team (FIRST) at University of Dundee, in collaboration with the School of Medicine and with the support of NHS Tayside, are piloting a model of child fatality review in Tayside between January and March 2014. The project is jointly funded by Scottish Government and the University of Dundee Alumni Fund.

The project will use the Ruby Model, an adapted version of the "elegantly simple" child death review process first rolled out in the US and subsequently adopted in other nations including Canada and New Zealand. At the heart of this model are the story of the child, their lives and circumstances of their death and the contributions of family and professionals who knew them and treated them.

A short multi-agency meeting will review each death and will determine whether it was preventable and what recommendations, if any, can be made to reduce the likelihood of similar deaths. Alongside this qualitative data, over 300 data elements will be collected on each child from death certification details and other records. Funding from Tayside Medical Science Centre is allowing the development of software which captures National Records of Scotland data and uses it to populate the data collection tools which are completed at the multi-agency review meeting. The data is then stored in a database in the Health Informatics Centre (HIC) at Dundee, one of only four UK-wide Farr Institutes (centres of excellence and exceptional resources in the management, storage, analysis and linkage of data). Dundee HIC co-ordinates the UK network.

A multi-agency stakeholder group from across Tayside is being established to support and inform the pilot work and to review and take forward recommendations from reviews.

Part of the Alumni Fund grant is being used to employ a part-time family liaison worker to support the recently bereaved families who are contributing to the pilot, to capture their insights and recommendations and to ensure their views and voices are heard in the review meeting. The liaison worker will also feedback to families from the review.

The dataset collected in the child death review pilots in Tayside is being compiled in conjunction with stakeholders and expert clinicians. Drawing on other work being undertaken by FIRST, discussions are underway with other Child Death Review projects across the UK which are exploring capacity for data linkage. The work being undertaken in relation to Significant Case Review datasets in Scotland and work across the UK on child fire fatality data collection is also being studied, to ensure compatibility where possible.

Resource implications of the Ruby Model will be identified and the process will be costed as part of the pilot study. The pilot research group will report to Scottish Government on their experience and findings in April 2014.


Email: Mary Sloan

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