The new Saving Babies’ Lives Care Bundle launched by NHS England on 15 March will, for the first time, include guidance to administer magnesium sulphate to women in very pre-term labour to prevent cerebral palsy.
An NHS ‘care bundle’ is a recognised and familiar approach to improvement across the NHS bringing together a small number of focused interventions designed to effect improvement. Care bundles are targeted on causes of death or ill-health and are designed to save lives. The Saving Babies’ Lives Care Bundle 2 focuses on reducing stillbirth and neonatal death and reducing harm to babies.
The administration of magnesium sulphate to women in pre-term labour below 30 weeks is the focus of the AHSN Network’s Preventing Cerebral Palsy in PreTerm labour (PReCePT) programme. Magnesium sulphate at this stage helps to protect a baby’s brain. As a result fewer babies are likely to develop cerebral palsy, improving quality of life for both preterm babies and their families.
PReCePT started life as a West of England AHSN project five years ago, and is now one of our national adoption and spread programmes, delivered by all 15 AHSNs across the country. It is a powerful example of how we can rapidly put evidence into practice to improve healthcare for the nation.
Ann Remmers, Maternal and Neonatal Clinical lead at the West of England AHSN commented:
“Seeing magnesium sulphate included in Saving Babies Lives Care Bundle 2 is fantastic because it reinforces its value in reducing harm to babies and supports the great work being undertaken by maternity and neonatal services across England to ensure the best outcomes for mothers and babies through the PReCePT programme and the work of the Maternal and Neonatal Health Safety Collaborative, supported by AHSNs. The Saving Babies Lives Care Bundle is included in the 10 maternity safety actions in the NHS Resolution Maternity incentive scheme which provides added incentive for trusts to implement the guidance.”
Dr Karen Luyt, National Clinical Lead for the PReCePT programme and Neonatologist at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust added:
“This recognition of PReCePT will give our teams around the country such a boost. I’m immensely proud of what our maternity, neonatal and QI expert teams, advised by service users, have achieved together.”