Premature babies at less risk of cerebral palsy

Pictured from left: Sharon Wallis, Head of Midwifery, Claire Hill, Midwife and Davina Dracocardos, Clinical Auditor for Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Babies expected to be born prematurely are now at less risk of developing cerebral palsy, thanks to the dedication of one UHNM midwife.  Claire Hill has championed the implementation of the national PReCePT (Prevention of Cerebral Palsy in Pre-Term Labour) programme at UHNM and for the last four months, the trust has demonstrated 100% compliance with the programme. This means that more babies are being offered essential neurological protection, an achievement which also takes the trust above the national average for compliance.

Premature birth increases the risk of babies developing cerebral palsy. The PReCePT programme aims to increase the uptake of magnesium sulphate, which has been demonstrated as an effective neuroprotectant.

Sharon Wallis, Head of Midwifery at UHNM, said: "Claire has been instrumental in raising awareness of the importance of administering magnesium sulphate where appropriate. She has spent time training staff at different levels and really making sure that they understand the benefits and how it can help. Her hard work has ensured babies cared for at UHNM are offered the maximum protection against potential complications and the fact that she's taken us above the national average for this is really commendable. We're very appreciative of her dedication to the role."

As part of her role Claire has provided training for staff, implemented patient information leaflets, updated local guidance and actively monitored local performance. She has won the Employee of the Month award in recognition of her hard work.

Claire said: "I feel so privileged to have this job because I know that it really makes a difference. The fact that I am playing a part in helping to protect babies and their mothers is a real driver for me. It is a big team effort though and we all work together, but it's really lovely to be recognised with this award."