18 November 2020
It was announced today, Wednesday 18 November, that PReCePT, a quality improvement (QI) programme led by clinicians at University Hospitals Bristol & Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW) and at the West of England Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), has been shortlisted for Workforce Initiative of the Year at the 2020 Health Service Journal Awards.
The Prevention of Cerebral Palsy in PreTerm Labour (known as PReCePT) programme has been shortlisted from over 1,000 entries. It has engaged clinical staff across traditional disciplinary boundaries, and established meaningful partnerships of patients/parents, clinicians and QI experts working together to reduce the risk of avoidable brain injury in preterm babies.
PReCePT aims to increase awareness and knowledge among maternity and neonatal staff about using magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) as brain protection during preterm birth. Through PReCePT, women going into early labour before 30 weeks are offered magnesium sulfate, which helps to protect their babies’ brains. As a result, fewer babies are likely to develop cerebral palsy, improving quality of life for both preterm babies and their families. A dose of magnesium sulfate costs from just £1.
The aim of PReCePT is for every maternity unit in England to adopt National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance and achieve 85 per cent uptake of MgSO4 in eligible mothers in preterm labour and to mobilise and enable high functioning perinatal teams around the country, focused on reducing avoidable newborn brain injury and cerebral palsy.
PReCePT was built progressively on small, local steps in St Michael’s Hospital, UHBW, then piloted in five trusts in the West of England, to produce scalable and life-changing outcomes for babies and families across the entire country.
PReCePT is the first perinatal QI intervention to be scaled up nationally using the AHSN networks, mapped on to NHS clinical care networks. It has engaged colleagues from across three key professions – midwives/neonatologists/obstetricians – bringing them together to work across traditional professional divides to work as a unified ‘perinatal team’. This approach has been highly innovative and has helped to change the culture of care.
The National Institute for Health and Care Research Applied Research Collaboration West (NIHR ARC West) is evaluating both the national programme and also the PReCePT Study, funded by the Health Foundation. This is a randomised controlled trial, nested within the wider national programme, which aimed to find the best way to scale up the uptake of MgSO4 by comparing the effectiveness of two different QI approaches across a subset of maternity units. Findings from the PReCePT Study will provide evidence to inform best practice for future perinatal QI scaling up initiatives.
Dr Karen Luyt, Consultant and Reader in Neonatal Medicine, St Michael’s Hospital, UHBW and PReCePT Clinical Lead, said:
“Traditionally, perinatal clinical care of mother and baby has been specialism focused and tribal, with clear boundaries between midwifery, obstetrics and neonatology. In the first PReCePT project we worked with midwives, obstetricians and neonatal teams and learned that to achieve optimal outcomes for the tiniest babies these three professions needed to function seamlessly as one perinatal team, focused on the best potential outcome for the baby.
“We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this award to recognise the meaningful partnership of patients, clinicians and QI experts who have collaborated successfully to reduce cerebral palsy and improving the life chances of preterm babies across the nation.”
Professor John MacLeod, NIHR ARC West Director, added:
“PReCePT is a marvellous example of an ARC doing what we do best. Collaborating with our partners, particularly our AHSN, first in the West then more widely, to implement evidence-based change at scale to give the greatest benefit to the most people.”
Now in its 40th year, the HSJ Awards is the largest annual benchmarking and recognition programme for healthcare. Through a rigorous, fair and transparent judging process the awards produce a roll call of the best organisations, teams and people in the NHS and the wider health sector.
The judging panel is made up of a diverse range of highly influential and respected figures within the healthcare community including: Sir Bruce Keogh, Chair, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Mark Axcell, Chief Executive, Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Caroline Beardall, Director of Workforce and OD, NHS England and NHS Improvement – South East.
Winners will be selected ahead of the ceremony, which will take place virtually in March 2021.