Policy for Unexpected Death in Infants and Children (SUDIC Policy)

The purpose of this communication is to raise awareness of the revised and approved policy for the joint agency response when there is an unexpected death of an infant or child in the Isle of Man.

Historically, ownership and responsibility for the policy was with the Safeguarding Board. Subsequent to the Children and Young Persons (Amendment) Act 2020, statutory responsibility for the policy and its implementation is with the Child Death Review Partners represented by Designated Leads in relevant agencies and departments. The policy follows the same principles as the Statutory and Operational Guidance (2018) in England. The current policy in the Isle of Man has been approved for use by the Coroner in August 2022.

 It is important to be aware that the operational guidance within the policy is not new and remains largely unchanged from prior versions of the policy which was first introduced with approval of the Coroner in 2006. The infrequency of Unexpected Deaths in Infants and Children and the differences in logistical arrangements with England (For example the lack of designated on-call professionals to respond to a SUDIC) presents a challenge in the Isle of Man; nevertheless the Policy has served us well and while every event presents opportunities for learning, by and large the feedback from families, local and external professionals has been positive. Successful use of the policy relies on teamwork, respectful communication and with those professionals with experience providing support to others who may not have had had any exposure whether that is a porter, paramedic, site manager, healthcare assistant, nurse, doctor, police officer and many more, all of whom contribute to providing the best possible care and support to the deceased child and their family while completing the objectives of the multi-agency investigation process