The Scottish Government and the University of Dundee, in partnership with NHS Tayside, have funded a three month study that will pilot a new approach to reviewing the circumstances of child deaths in Tayside. The project will review three child deaths during this period and will report on the outcomes to the Scottish Government.
The purpose of the process is to conduct a comprehensive, multidisciplinary review of child deaths, to better understand how and why children die, and use the findings to take action that can prevent other deaths and improve the health, safety and wellbeing of all children. Evidence gathered over several years has highlighted the research potential for standardisation of cross national mortality data and has demonstrated the role that fatality reviews can have in identifying preventable deaths. Currently, data on child mortality in Scotland is collected by a number of agencies, each with a different focus and purpose. Coverage is only partial and not all child deaths are included. The Scottish Government is interested in exploring the establishment of a uniform process that will standardise the approach to child death reviews in Scotland. As the number of deaths each year in Scotland is relatively small (450-500), an aspiration of the process is to promote data linkage across the UK and, possibly beyond.