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Rapid Response Service for Sudden and Unexpected Child Death

Who we are 

We are a designated team supporting families and other agencies following the unexpected eath of a child.

What we do

County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust have a designated service to engage quickly with the police and other agencies following the unexpected death of a child under the age of 18 years.

This service provides a specially trained senior nurse or medical practitioner to respond to the death of a child or infant. It is vital that the Rapid Response Service is consulted at the earliest opportunity.

An Unexpected Death is defined as the death of a child that was not anticipated as  a  significant  possibility  24  hours  before  death,  or  where  there  was  a similarly unexpected collapse or incident leading to or precipitating the events that led to the death.

The Police will work alongside Rapid Response Service for all cases of sudden unexpected death in infants and children. 

Where to find us

Bishop Auckland Hospital  

How to Contact us

The Rapid Response Service can be contacted via  01388 455126 between 0700 - 22.00hrs

Other Contact Details:

Designated Doctor for Child Deaths - Dr Heather Smith, Consultant Paediatrician

Senior Nurse/Manager Rapid Response Service - Catherine Hodgkiss


'I have to compliment everyone on their pleasant persona and their expertise and knowledge. By the end of the 5 days, I did not feel as though I had been in a hospital ward and was very relaxed.'

Patient, Ward 16 Orthopaedics, University Hospital of North Durham