PReCePT (PReventing Cerebral palsy in Pre-Term labour) is an evidence-based project designed to reduce the risk of cerebral palsy in babies by giving magnesium sulphate to mothers in preterm labour.
Babies born pre-term are at an increased risk of developing cerebral palsy, a group of lifelong conditions affecting movement caused by a problem with the brain that occurs before, during, or shortly after birth. Magnesium sulphate, a known neuroprotector, can reduce the likelihood of a child developing cerebral palsy if it is administered to the mother during pre-term labour.
The PReCePT project was developed by the West of England Academic Health Science Network in collaboration with University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust. Funded by NHS England, the programme was subsequently selected for adoption and spread across England during 2018-20 via the national AHSN Network.
By March 2020, the 15 AHSNs, together with the Maternal and Neonatal Health Safety Collaborative (now the Maternal and Neonatal Safety Improvement Programme) and the national Patient Safety Collaboratives (PSCs), had consistently achieved over 80% uptake of magnesium sulphate among eligible mothers in all maternity units in England. In 2018/19, an additional 510 eligible mothers in early labour across England were given the drug followed by an additional 852 mothers during 2019/20 - significantly surpassing national targets. With between 4,000 to 5,000 babies born before 30 weeks’ gestation in England per year, the PReCePT programme has gained healthier and happier years of life for families across the country.
Find out more about the national spread of PReCePT on the AHSN Network website.
PReCePT in the South West
From November 2018 to May 2019, the South West Academic Health Science Network (SW AHSN) supported the administration of magnesium sulphate to eligible mothers in NHS trusts across the South West of England.
The formal PReCePT programme is now complete and the SW AHSN is supporting trusts across the South West to maintain uptake among eligible mothers in the region, which reached an average of 91% during the active phase of the programme.
The PReCePT programme has positively impacted children across the South West, building healthier and happier futures for families. Watch Violet's story below.
The programme also has positive implications for the adoption and spread of innovation. Healthcare staff adopting PReCePT have reported the programme has led to changes in the way they go about collaborating with colleagues, developing new confidence in building connections, and sharing ideas and experience. The programme has strengthened quality improvement knowledge across maternity and neonatal units in the South West.
The success of the PReCePT programme has led to the development of a new perinatal initiative, PERIPrem, being trialled by the South West and West of England AHSNs in the South West of England. Find out more.
Violet Caddick was born ten weeks' early. Hear how the PReCePT programme has brightened her future - and helped to connect midwives in the South West too.