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Rapid Response Service (Paediatrics)

All local safeguarding boards across England are expected to have procedures in place for responding to unexpected childhood deaths. The Rapid Response Service is a team of senior nurses and we come together for the purpose of enquiring into and evaluating each unexpected death of a child (up to 18th birthday) together with other agencies
 
This service has an important role in offering specialist advice and coordinating the response to unexpected deaths.
 
The main focus of the service is to:
 
Establish the cause of death
Identify contributory factors and learning lessons
Supporting the family
 
We respond quickly to the unexplained death of a child to offer support to the family, and to investigate the circumstances of the death, in agreement with the coroner.

We maintain contact at regular intervals with family members and other professionals who have ongoing responsibilities for the family, to ensure they are informed and kept up-to-date with information about the child's death.
 
The team is led by Catherine Hodgkiss (Rapid Response Manager) and Dr Heather Smith, Consultant Paediatrician, together with 6 senior nurses supporting the service.
 
The service operates across County Durham and Darlington from 7 am to 10 p.m. - 7 days per week including bank holidays and can be contacted on 01388 455126.

'Care received was fantastic and I was very well looked after and very impressed.'

Patient, Day Surgery, Darlington Memorial Hospital