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The PReCePT Programme is a quality improvement project designed to reduce the incidence of cerebral palsy through the administration of magnesium sulphate to eligible preterm mothers across England.

PReCePT stands for the Prevention of Cerebral Palsy in PreTerm Labour. The project was originally developed by the West of England AHSN in collaboration with University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, and involved both patients and staff.

This evidence-based, cost-effective project was designed to help reduce cerebral palsy in babies through the increased antenatal administration of magnesium sulphate (MgSO4) to mothers during preterm labour, costing from £1 per individual dose.

For every 37 mothers who receive magnesium sulphate, one case of cerebral palsy can be prevented. As a result of PReCePT, fewer babies will develop cerebral palsy and the quality of life of preterm babies and their families will be improved.

Phase one of the PReCePT project has prevented seven cases of cerebral palsy in the West of England, representing potential lifetime healthcare savings in the region of £5 million – and substantially more when including loss of productivity and social care costs over a lifetime.

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

Funded by NHS England, PReCePT is one of the seven local AHSN programmes to have been selected for adoption and spread across the national AHSN Network during 2018-2020. This work will be led by the West of England AHSN. Watch the videos and view the presentation slides from our ‘Get Ready for PReCePT’ event in May 2018.

The aim of the PReCePT programme is to achieve 85 per cent uptake of administration of magnesium sulphate to preterm babies in all maternity units in England, with a stretch target of 95 per cent by 2020. 

PReCePT in the North West is a joint project between the Innovation Agency, Health Innovation Manchester and the North West Neonatal Network. The project will deliver a combination of improvement methods, bespoke training and resources across the 21 identified units across the region.

PReCePT resources, including a toolkit and implementation guide, are available to download here.

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