National Programme —


Preventing cerebral palsy in pre-term labour.

two nurses look through PRECEPT papers together, smiling

Using Magnesium Sulphate injections during pre-term labour to reduce the risk of Cerebral Palsy.

Programme developed to increase awareness in maternity practitioners and thereby improve take-up.

Programme completed, with the innovation continuing to be practiced in the region. 

Detailed Programme Information

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. 

  • Numbers of mothers given MgSO4 in 20/21: 2,756 – an increase of 87 compared to previous reporting.
  • The success of the PReCePT programme has led to the development of a new perinatal initiative, PERIPrem.
  • Healthcare staff adopting PReCePT have reported the programme has led to developing new confidence in building connections, and sharing ideas and experiences.
  • An evaluation of the programme has found PReCePT to be an effective low-cost treatment. Read more here.

Please contact South West AHSN PERIPrem Lead, Sally Hedge.

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