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.
The PERIPrem (Perinatal Excellence to Reduce Injury in Premature Birth) care bundle was co-created by clinicians, maternity and neonatal teams, and parents. It consists of 11 interventions proven to have an impact on brain injury and mortality rates amongst babies born before 34 weeks.
PERIPrem is a collaborative project led by the West of England and South West AHSNs in partnership with the South West Neonatal Network. Since April 2020, the AHSNs supported all 12 hospital trusts across the South West region to introduce the care bundle.
Quality improvement methodology was central to implementation, alongside coaching and forging new ways of working, enabling obstetrics, midwifery and neonatal clinicians to join forces to transform care.
Supporting units to focus on increasing use of interventions, the AHSNs provided backfill funding to every trust for two PERIPrem posts.
PERIPrem toolkits and clinical and parent passports were created to offer advice and reassurance to families.
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 the standardised bundle of care. The evaluation combined mixed methods data analysis, staff surveys on psychological safety and teamwork, qualitative interviews with maternity, neonatal and obstetric staff and QI coaches.
Over the evaluation period, 693 babies were born to 604 mothers.