To receive a report from a Public Health Consultant.
The Public Health Consultant provided background to the report and panel. The panel was joint between Stockport, Tameside, and Trafford Council’s. They did advise caution when analysing the findings of the annual report as the numbers were generally quite low, but that there were programmes of work ongoing to enable a five-year review from 2024-25.
Infant mortality rate had a drop over the past two rolling data points, with child mortality up slightly in Trafford. The Public Health consultant provided some of the data on the report, with 39 deaths notified in 2021/22 which was below the 8-year average but there was not yet a clear trend towards a lower rate longer term. The main causes of death were then provided to the Board.
The Public Health Consultant informed the Board that there was a trend in deprivation, with an increased risk in the most deprived groups. Finally, the Board was told that the panel, during the full review, asks if there were any modifiable factors which could have meant the death was avoidable. The Board was informed this was a really difficult decision to make, but that professional judgement and discussion had been had before coming to that conclusion.
The Public Health Consultant finished by providing the 5 key recommendations in place. For the Health and Wellbeing Board, this was for the Board to continue work to address the longstanding causes of increased risk of child death.
The Corporate Director Children’s Services was pleased to see actions for the maternity services, of which some were on an improvement journey, and wanted to know if any assurances and understanding was in place to ensure a follow through on their recommendations. The Director of Public Health responded that maternity services within Greater Manchester were managed by ICB and commissioned through Manchester commissioners rather that Trafford, but the relationship was worked on closely. The Public Health Consultant also ensured the Corporate Director for Children’s Services that despite a risk of disconnect due to the tri-partite working between the three areas, Trafford was getting together with the other public health and child death overview panel managers to make sure that the recommendations were taken to the maternity boards in each area as assurance that work was ongoing.
The Corporate Director Children’s Services also asked about deaths by suicide in recent years and whether cross-referencing was taking place with the child death overview process and the suicide prevention processes, so that joint learning could take place. The Public Health Consultant responded that suicide was a live discussion. Despite numbers being low at the time, they informed the Corporate Director that there were opportunities for both groups to gather information. The Director of Public Health spoke of the suicide prevention board, which was really active, and assured the Board that numbers in Trafford were very low and gave an overview of the process which takes place when a death occurs, which involves a multi-agency investigation.
The GP Board Representative asked a question about maternity services and if there was something that could be done around identifying those women who weren’t pregnant yet, as once a woman was pregnant and reaches the maternity service many of the opportunities for intervention will have gone. The Director of Public Health responded that work had been done around this in the living well age group, looking at obesity, smoking and alcohol, which can be risk factors for babies being born. They informed the GP Board Representative that this will be something that they will take onboard moving forward.
The Chief Executive for Trafford Leisure asked if there was any work being done to look at inactivity, and the data around that which included 70% of children and young people not meeting the guidelines for physical activity in Trafford.
The Chair noted and signed off the report.
1) That the report be noted and signed off.
2) That the partners of the Board continue work to address the longstanding causes of increased risk of child death.