PANELS set up to review the deaths of children in Dorset and Somerset are to join together due to the low number deaths in each county.

New government rules require partnerships between councils and health bodies to cover an area where at least 60 deaths can be expected each year.

However, the existing review panel in Dorset only investigates about 40 over the course of a year.

Councils and clinical commissioning groups are responsible for carrying out reviews into the deaths of all children in their area.

However, new government rules require them to cover a geographical area in which at least 60 deaths can be expected each year.

The existing Dorset panel reviews about 40 deaths per year, so is required to partner with another local authority to meet the higher threshold.

Discussions have been held with bodies in Somerset to create the new partnership to cover the two counties.

The move was supported by members of the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole shadow authority scrutiny committee on Thursday.