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Home > Publication of reports by the National Review Panel for Serious Incidents & Child Deaths.

[Health Service Executive] Publication of reports by the National Review Panel for Serious Incidents & Child Deaths. (18 Oct 2011)

Review Panel established under HIQA Guidance publishes 6 reports into child deaths and its first annual report -

The HSE today, Tuesday 18th October, published a series of reports carried out by the National Review Panel for Serious Incidents and Child Deaths established under the HIQA Guidance. Also published today was the first Annual Report of the National Review Panel, providing an overview of the work carried out by the group since its establishment in 2010.

The six reports concern four deaths and two serious incidents of young people. Three deaths were by natural causes and one was following an accident. The two serious incidents also concerned accidents. None of the subjects of the reports were in care at the time of the incident however one of the accident victims, who was over 18 years of age, was still living with foster parents at the time. All were known to the HSE child protection services. In addition, the National Review Panel has prepared an overview report on five reviews that it required the HSE to carry out. All of the reports are presented anonymously in the interests of the families concerned.

The HSE and the National Review Panel today offered their sympathies and condolences to the families and those affected by the tragic deaths of these young people.

The reports detail the services provided by the HSE to these children, their families, and carers with a view to determining the quality of the services provided and to identify if there were gaps in how the HSE dealt with those concerned. The reports make a series of recommendations for how the HSE’s Children and Family Services can improve services in the future to strengthen how care is provided to children and their families.

The recommendations of the National Review Panel will be implemented as part of the HSE reform programme currently underway in Children and Family Services. The recent publication of Children First 2011 provides the framework for many of these recommendations to be implemented.

In addition the HSE published a new Child Welfare and Protection Handbook last month which addresses issues such as risk factors in child protection, child protection in a multicultural context, assessment practice, assessing parenting capacity and supervising assessment. A standard procedure for referral, initial and further assessment has also been introduced in every social work team across the country.

Prof. Helen Buckley, Chair of the National Review Panel commented; “Our first thoughts today are with the families of the children and young people concerned. The NRP is conscious of the heartbreak experienced by families as well as the impact on all the individuals who knew and worked with the children and young people involved”

“Some of the children featured in these reports died of natural causes and others in tragic circumstances. In some cases, children had experienced in traumatic or potentially damaging events. The National Review Panel is conducting its work anonymously to protect the confidentiality of the individuals and families concerned. There is nothing to be gained from adding further to their hardship by intruding on their privacy. Our principal focus is on identifying weaknesses in policy and practice and ensuring that steps are taken to develop and improve services where needed”.

“Child protection is complex and challenging. By conducting objective and independent reviews of these very sad events, the National Review Panel aims to strengthen services for children in the future and promote learning in the system in order to improve professional practice.”

It is the intention of the HSE’s Children and Family Services to publish the reports carried out by the National Review Panel except where there are exceptional or compelling reasons not to do so. This policy is motivated by an intention to provide full and transparent public accountability in all matters relating to the duties and obligations of the HSE Children and Family Services.

For further information contact
HSE National Press Office
01 635 2840 /

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