SPECIAL reviews into every child's death are to be introduced in Scotland to help experts learn lessons that could lower mortality rates.

The Scottish Government is to set up a system where every child's death will be scrutinised to the same standards after a working group found that current arrangements varied from case to case and were hampered by a lack of a common approach among the agencies involved.

Scotland has one of the highest rates of child mortality in Europe, with around 400 children dying each year as a result of illness, suicide, accident or assault. Last year a working group was set up to examine how these deaths are monitored, while a pilot study was launched in Tayside to trial a rapid review process.

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Health Secretary Alex Neil said: "Setting up this standardised review system will help us to identify what, as a government, we can do to further reduce the rates of child mortality in Scotland.

"We're keen to ensure that bereaved families are at the centre of the review process and that they are given all the information they need in a timely and sensitive manner.

"They will have the opportunity to feed in their views and will, hopefully, feel reassured that all is being done to help prevent the likelihood of similar deaths happening again."