Commenting on the report from NCEPOD (National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcomes and Death) Each and Every Need: A review of the quality of care provided to patients aged 0-25 years old with chronic neurodisabling using the cerebral palsies as examples of chronic neurodisabling conditions, Professor Jo Martin, President of The Royal College of Pathologists said:

“Children and young people with cerebral palsy are far more likely to die early.

The death rate for those with cerebral palsy aged 0-25 years is 26 times higher compared to those without the condition; with the highest rates of deaths among the under-fives.

From 2019 Medical Examiners will examine all deaths not reported to the coroner, and we have championed this. As well as reviewing the care and treatment of a person who has died from cerebral palsy, they will also speak to their families to answer questions and address concerns so any problems with care can be identified and action taken, to improve the care and treatment of people with cerebral palsy in the future.

Children and young people with cerebral palsy have many complex needs. This report acknowledges that while there are areas of good practice in their care and treatment, there is room for improvement.

It is essential that we investigate all deaths of children and young people, including those with cerebral palsy, to see if we can learn from the causes of death to help improve care and treatment for the living. The College is deeply committed to this learning.”