National Programme —


Reducing brain injury and death caused in premature birth.

Newborn baby with parents

Bundle of 11 perinatal interventions to reduce brain injury and neonatal mortality.

Includes care for the mother, and early medical and practical care for the infant in the hours after birth. 

Implemented in 12 Trusts throughout South West, to all eligible mothers and babies born pre 34 weeks’ gestation.


Detailed Programme Information

The Perinatal Excellence to Reduce Injury in Premature Birth (PERIPrem) project – aiming to reduce brain injury and death caused by preterm birth by at least half. 

Preterm birth is the single biggest cause of infant mortality and newborn brain injury in England. The NHS Long Term Plan has committed to realising a 50% reduction in stillbirth, maternal and neonatal mortality, and serious brain injury by 2025, with an increased focus on preterm mortality.  

PERIPrem is a unique care bundle of 11 evidence-based interventions for mothers and preterm babies.  

  • Implemented in 12 Trusts across the South West region.
  • Led by the West of England Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) in partnership with the South West AHSN and South West Neonatal Network.
  • Co-design and co-production approach, rooted in Quality Improvement (QI) methods.
  • Involving unit-level perinatal teams, parents with lived experience of preterm birth, and the wider regional clinical community.
  • 1,485 babies cared for across the South West and West of England AHSN regions between April 2021 and February 2022
  • Patient resources translated into top 8 locally used languages
  • 1,497 sets of staff resources downloaded (to June 2022)
  • Winner of Best National/Regional Project, British Association of Perinatal Medicine Gopi Menon Awards 2022 

PERIPrem was Highly Commended in the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Patient Safety Awards 2021, in the Patient Safety Pilot Project of the Year category, and was a finalist in the Provider Collaboration category of the main HSJ awards. 


“PERIPrem, as a QI project, has had the greatest impact I’ve seen in 10 years at Torbay and South Devon.” 

Dr Richard Tozer, Consultant Paediatrician

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust 


Evaluating the impact of PERIPrem

The South West AHSN was commissioned to evaluate PERIPrem to understand the effectiveness of using QI methodology to support maternity and neonatal units in implementing a standardised bundle of care to mothers who deliver their babies at less than 34 weeks’ gestation.  

Our quantitative evaluation, published in BMJ Open Quality, shows the PERIPrem bundle and QI approach has increased the uptake of these 11 interventions in 12 NHS Trusts across the South West, as well as improved perinatal team culture. By the end of the evaluation period, 26% more mothers and babies born prematurely in the South West received the care interventions they were eligible for, compared to before PERIPrem started. 

Our evaluation on the barriers and enablers to the implementation of PERIPrem is published in Research Square. Maternity, neonatal and obstetric staff reported capability, motivation and opportunity were the three main enablers to implementation. 

Explore the findings in our bitesize summary of the evaluation (pictured below). Also available in A5 size.  

For more information about the PERIPrem project please contact the South West AHSN PERIPrem Lead, Sally Hedge

For more information about our PERIPrem evaluation please contact South West AHSN Evaluation Lead, Dr Hayley McBain

PERIPrem is endorsed by the Neonatal Nurses Association

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PERIPrem explainer video

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Highly commended at HSJ Patient Safety Awards

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Further resources about PERIPrem

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