Prevention of Cerebral Palsy in the Preterm Infant (PReCePT)

PReCePT is an evidence-based, cost-effective programme designed to help reduce cerebral palsy in babies through the increased antenatal administration of magnesium sulphate (MgSO4) as a neuro protector to mothers during preterm labour.

Following successful rollout of PReCePT to five acute trusts in the West of England in 2016 it is estimated that around seven cases of cerebral palsy have already been prevented; representing a potential lifetime healthcare savings in the region of £5 million – and substantially more when including associated costs, such as lifetime social care costs. The cost to the individual and their family is unquantifiable.

Between 4,000 and 5,000 babies are born before 30 weeks’ gestation in England per year and stand to benefit from the full national roll-out of the PReCePT programme in 2018 and 2020 which has been funded by NHS England. Successful rollout of the PReCePT programme is likely to prevent several hundred cases of cerebral palsy per year, based on highest grade evidence.

This work brings together the 15 AHSNs and the aligned drivers of the Maternal and Neonatal Health Safety Collaborative (MNHSC) and the national Patient Safety Collaboratives (PSCs).

The overarching aim of the national programme is to increase the uptake of administration of magnesium sulphate as a neuro protector to at least 85% of eligible women across all maternity units in England.

For more information about the national roll out of PReCePT visit The AHSN Atlas.

Delivery in the North East and North Cumbria

All hospitals with a Maternity and Neonatal Unit in the North East and North Cumbria region are involved in this programme.

These are:

  • Royal Victoria Infirmary (Newcastle)
  • James Cook University Hospital (Middlesbrough)
  • Sunderland Royal Hospital
  • University Hospital of North Tees
  • Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital
  • University Hospital of North Durham
  • Darlington Memorial Hospital
  • Cumberland Infirmary (Carlisle)
  • West Cumberland Hospital (Whitehaven)
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Gateshead)
  • South Tyneside District Hospital

Each hospital has identified a Maternity Unit Midwife Lead, an Obstetric Unit Lead, and a Neonatologist to drive this work forward within their own Maternity and Neonatal Units.

In addition, the following regional appointments have been made:

  • Dr Sundeep Harigopal has been appointed as PReCePT Regional Neonatal Lead, and will provide regional leadership for the programme
    Consultant Neonatologist and Clinical Lead for the Northern Neonatal Network, the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Julia Wood has been appointed as PReCePT Quality Improvement Lead, and will support units apply quality improvement methodologies to help them make effective and sustainable improvements
    Maternal and Neonatal Health Safety Collaborative Lead, AHSN NENC
  • Karen Hooper has been appointed as PReCePT Project Manager, and will particularly focus on supporting units with accurate data collection and analysis
    Network Delivery Lead – Maternity (Northern England Clinical Networks), NHS England Cumbria and the North East/Patient Safety Clinical Lead – Maternity and Neonates, NHS Improvement

Find out more by reading our case study, Delivery of the National PReCePT Programme in the NENC region 

The following video has been produced in order to further explain the PReCePT programme:

A selection of shorter videos can be found on our YouTube page:

Administering Magnesium Sulphate

Side Effects of Magnesium Sulphate

Cost of Magnesium Sulphate

Magnesium Sulphate as Protocol