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How can the incidence and impact of preterm birth be reduced?

21 February 2024

The Preterm Birth Committee has today published a call for written evidence for its inquiry into the prevention and consequences of preterm birth. It is inviting interested individuals and organisations to share their views on these issues.


Preterm birth – when a baby is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy – is the single biggest cause of neonatal mortality and morbidity in the UK. Just under 8% of live births in England are preterm each year. The Government has set an ambition to reduce the preterm birth rate to 6% by 2025.

There are a wide range of risk factors associated with preterm birth, but in many cases the cause is unknown. This inquiry will examine how preterm births can be prevented and how the adverse consequences of preterm birth for mothers, babies and families can be reduced.

Key issues

The Committee is interested to hear about topics including:

  • Treatments and interventions that can assist in the prediction and prevention of preterm birth
  • Neonatal and longer-term care and support for babies born preterm
  • Existing clinical guidance relating to preterm birth, and how this is implemented
  • The ethnic and socioeconomic inequalities seen in relation to preterm birth, and how these could be reduced
  • Priority areas for research to prevent preterm birth and improve care for mothers and babies.

A full list of topics is provided in the call for evidence.

The deadline for submissions is 5.00pm on Wednesday 27 March 2024.

Further information

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