The West Midlands Child Death Review Network continue to work together as a strong and growing network. The overriding aim the network is to identify best practice and promote consistency to support the ongoing development of the Child Death Review, including Joint Agency Response and Child Deaths Review Network (CDRN) across the West Midlands to achieve better outcomes for children and families


Over the last year the group have worked to collate regional data on unexpected deaths occurring in unsafe sleep environments; particularly babies sharing beds/sofas with intoxicated parents.

Additionally the network have worked to contribute to national guidance on the management of unexpected child deaths during the pandemic – ensuring that these are still fully investigated.

Following National guidance the network have additionally held their first Regional Themed Panel meeting. The meeting was well attended and work continues to share learning and outputs from the review.

The network continue to hold quarterly meetings engaging representatives from all local CDR teams, Police and Ambulance representatives and Bereaved family representatives.

Along with this a sub group has also been created aimed specifically for Designated Doctors for Child Death across the region, with the aim of sharing experiences, leaning and peer support.  This meeting is chaired by Dr Hannah Fallon, Designated Doctor for Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust.

The CDRN network is chaired by Dr Joanna Garstang, Designated Doctor for Child Death, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Partners in Paediatrics CDOP

The Regional CDRN network is holding a Midlands wide CDR conference on 16th June 2022.


Conference details

The programme focused on ‘Improving practice in Child Death Review: supporting families and learning lessons’

The programme includes:

    • Current challenges in SUDIC investigation – Dr Joanna Garstang, Designated Doctor for Child Death, Birmingham & Solihull CCG
    • A bereaved parent’s experience of SUDIC investigation
    • Management of fatal Road Traffic Collisions
    • National quality improvement project on SUDIC investigations – Professor Peter Fleming and Ms Vicky Sleap, National Child Mortality Database.
    • Vitamin D deficiency and Occult rickets in SUDIC – Dr Suma Uday, Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist, Birmingham Women’s & Children’s Hospital
    • The normalisation of Neglect – evidence from Serious Case Reviews 2017-19 – Professor Julie Taylor and Ms El Molloy, University of Birmingham
    • Key learning from Neonatal Mortality Reviews across the region – Dr Anju Singh, Consultant Neonatologist, Birmingham Women’s & Children’s Hospital
    • Ask the experts – question and answer session
    • Showcase of key learning from CDOP’s across the region.

For further information please click here

Links to Safe Sleep / Who’s in Charge? videos




Close Networking across the region

Many child deaths involve cross boundary working as children often die away from home. The greatest feature of the network is that it has helped develop relationships between CDR professionals across the region.

Due to the network, we all know who to talk to for information on specific cases, guidance on management, supervision or emotional support.

Future developments

Future developments for the CDRN include establishing regional Child Death Review themed panels for specific types of death (eg suicide, accidents), working in collaboration with the respective police departments on the development of a work stream in relation to suicide prevention. Along with an aim to establish meetings for Designated Doctors and Nurses and continue working with Public Health on a regional safe-sleep campaign.

The group is currently chaired by Jo Garstang .