The programme will use both data linkage and case note review to build on the work of previous child health confidential enquiries which have highlighted a number of issues, in particular, that children with chronic conditions, principally neurological, comprise the majority of deaths in children over one year.
The programme investigates the deaths of women and their babies during or after childbirth, and also cases where women and their babies survive serious illness during pregnancy or after childbirth. The aim is to identify avoidable illness and deaths so the lessons learned can be used to prevent similar cases in the future leading to improvements in maternal and newborn care for all mothers and babies.
This programme began as a National Confidential Enquiry into Perioperative Deaths with an aim to examine the quality of care delivery to surgical and anaesthetic patients who had died in hospital within 30 days of a surgical procedure. In 2002, the remit of the programme was extended to review the care received by medical patients as well as surgical patients. In addition, near-miss morbidity cases were included as well as cases of mortality.
The Mental Health Clinical Outcome Review Programme is delivered by the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness (NCISH). The inquiry examines suicide, and homicide committed by people who had been in contact with secondary and specialist mental health services in the previous 12 months and publishes this in an annual report.
The National Child Mortality Database (NCMD) national data collection and analysis system is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. It records comprehensive data, standardised across a whole country (England), on the circumstances of all children who die before their 18th birthday.