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Improving care for mothers and preterm babies with PERIPrem

More mothers and babies born prematurely in Swindon and across the South West are receiving lifechanging care thanks to an ambitious quality improvement project designed to reduce brain injury and death in vulnerable preterm babies.

PERIPrem (Perinatal Excellence to Reduce Injury in Premature Birth) is an evidence-based bundle of interventions, delivered by doctors, nurses and midwives, joining forces to consistently provide the very best care, before, during and after birth.

PERIPrem is one of the incredible improvements happening across the Trust and has elevated the South West as a region of excellence in perinatal care.

Dr Sarah Bates, Consultant Paediatrician & Neonatologist, is co-lead for the project, providing operational leadership, in partnership with both regional Health Science Networks and the South West Neonatal Network.

Dr Bates is passionate about coaching teams across the region to optimise perinatal culture, aiming to standardise care, save lives and reduce brain injury in preterm babies.

Success celebrated in British Medical Journal

A new evaluation, conducted independently by the South West Academic Health Science Network and published this month in the British Medical Journal Open Quality, shows how the uptake of the PERIPrem care interventions has increased in 12 NHS trusts across the South West, alongside improving the perinatal team culture.

By the end of the evaluation period, 26 per cent more mothers and babies born prematurely in the South West, received the care interventions they were eligible for, compared to before PERIPrem started. 

PERIPrem care

PERIPrem is a bundle of 11 care interventions, each proven to have a significant impact on brain injury and/or mortality rates in babies born prematurely.

The interventions include birth being in the right place, optimally timed antenatal corticosteroids, magnesium sulphate, optimal cord management, thermoregulation, early maternal breast milk, volume-targeted ventilation, caffeine, prophylactic hydrocortisone, probiotics, and intrapartum antibiotics prophylaxis.

Currently the uptake of these interventions varies across the UK. With its evidence base and quality improvement approach, PERIPrem offers a unique opportunity for the NHS to standardise best practice care.

Another important part of PERIPrem is keeping mothers informed, involved, and empowered through early conversations and a parent held passport.

Read more about PERIPrem and how it’s changing lives on the South West Academic Health Science Network website

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