Territory Stories

Annual Report 2020-2021, Northern Territory Child Deaths Review and Prevention Committee, Office of the Coroner



Annual Report 2020-2021, Northern Territory Child Deaths Review and Prevention Committee, Office of the Coroner

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Tabled Paper 430


Tabled Papers for 14th Assembly 2020 -; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




Tabled papers

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Northern Territory Child Deaths Review and Prevention Committee Annual Report 2020-21 Background and overview of the Committee activities The Committee is established pursuant to Part 3.3 of the Care and Protection of Children Act 2007 (the Act). The purpose of the child deaths review process undertaken by the Committee is to assist in the prevention and reduction of child deaths in the Northern Territory. It achieves this through: a) Maintaining a database on child deaths; b) Conducting research about child deaths, diseases and accidents involving children and c) Contributing to the development of appropriate policy to deal with such deaths, diseases and accidents. The Committees specific functions are set out in the Act. d) Action on issues arising from the on-going quality assurance of the Child Deaths Register (the Register); Issues relating to child deaths data in the NT Chapter 2 examines contextual factors and sources of data for the work of the Committee. This includes data obtained from national bodies such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the National Coroners Information System (NCIS), which provide data on child deaths and demographics. The primary source of data on child deaths is obtained from the Office of the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) which also provides data on stillbirths in the NT. Other sources such as medical records from the Department of Health (DoH) and documents held by the Office of the NT Coroner provide additional detail relating to individual deaths. Other issues include the following: Although this is the Committees 2020-2021 Annual Report, the focus is on child deaths for the calendar year 2020 with a further overview of calendar years 2016-2020. Presentation of data is based on the actual year of death rather than the year of registration of the death which is used by other agencies (e.g. ABS); ICD-10-AM codes are used for classifying the cause of death in line with the practice of most other similar committees within Australia; For all child deaths that involved a review by the NT Coroner, the delivery of coronial findings follows a thorough coronial investigation to determine a cause of death before it is reported to BDM. This may take months, possibly years to complete these investigations, hence the delay in reporting these deaths; The need to obtain additional data beyond that supplied by BDM; The need to canvas other jurisdictions including BDM registries in other states and territories, for information on the deaths of NT children that occurred interstate. 8

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