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PlGF-based testing for pre-eclampsia

Pre-eclampsia (PE) is a multi-system hypertensive disorder of pregnancy. It complicates up to one in every 20 pregnancies. Delivery of the baby is the only ‘cure’. The disease is a major cause of maternal and fetal morbidity worldwide, impacting pregnant women and their families and placing significant economic and capacity burdens on maternity systems. Clinical teams have a high degree of suspicion for PE and a low threshold to admit pregnant women with suspected PE. However, only a small proportion of these go on to develop PE. This highlights the importance of a more accurate test.

In 2017, the Oxford AHSN initiated a project to drive the uptake and adoption of placental growth factor (PlGF)-based testing across the Thames Valley region. Working with the Oxford Patient Safety Collaborative and clinical leads, laboratory heads, finance and management functions, the Oxford AHSN was successful in helping the first three hospital trusts in England to adopt PlGF-based testing into standard clinical practice.

The Oxford AHSN’s pre-eclampsia work secured two prizes in 2019: an HSJ Partnership Award and a Univants of Healthcare Excellence Award. It was also a finalist in the HSJ Awards.

In June 2019, partially driven by the success of the Oxford AHSN project, NHS England announced the availability of funding and support from both the Innovation and Technology Payment (ITP) and the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) to help accelerate the adoption of PlGF-based testing for pre-eclampsia in all hospital trusts across England.

The Oxford AHSN is working with all AHSNs on the national roll-out and adoption of PlGF-based testing into standard clinical practice.

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