London

NHS North East London and the City examining child death rate

A London NHS authority is examining child death rates to determine whether there are any issues that can be addressed.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that Havering had the highest death rates in under 16s in London in 2011.

Last year, 25 children died in the borough, a rate of 8.64 deaths per 1,000 children under 16.

NHS North East London and the City said the rate varied every year.

There were 17 child deaths in Havering in 2010, 14 in 2009, 13 in 2008, 11 in 2007, 14 in 2006 and 13 in 2005.

'Every death is terrible'

The provisional figures from the ONS show that Brent Teaching Primary Care Trust had 40 deaths in 2011, a rate of 7.65 per 1,000 children under 16. In 2010 there were 30 deaths.

Tower Hamlets had 34 deaths in 2011, a rate of 7.48 per 1,000 children under 16 - up from 25 deaths in 2010.

Waltham Forest had 35 deaths in 2011, a rate of 7.27 per 1,000 children under 16 and down from 37 deaths in 2010.

In a statement, NHS North East London and the City said: "Every child death is clearly terrible and a tragedy for that family but the overall number in Havering varies each year.

"We have started to look closely at the data to see if we can identify any pattern or underlying cause that we are then able to address."

The spokesman added that it would not be right to comment further or jump to any conclusions about the number of deaths until it had done so.

Update 17 October 2012: Earlier versions of this story incorrectly stated the figures related to infant mortality rates after incorrect data was supplied by the ONS.

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